Bennachie Forum > Car park charges at Bennachie?

What do you think?

February 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterBailies of Bennachie Admin

I for one will not be buying a ticket to park in the countryside.

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Harley

If you take these car park charges forward a few years they will increase a lot and every land owner at a nice place will have a car park and a toilet and a charge eg at Loch an Eilen in Glen More £1.50 per person or £15 for a minibus.
People will only go where they feel welcome and relaxed so will go where the community welcomes them by not charging for parking.
I will go North West where I can pull up anywhere and relax a while then go for a coffee without feeling I'm an object for making money.
I also will not be part of who ever controls the car park controls the access this is Scotland not England I want my kids to have a sense of freedom in their country. I would make a donation as I saw appropriate.

March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRod Webster

£1 for an hour is too much. Given that most of the Bennachie 'users' in the off season are regular dog walkers, you are going to find that they take their pooches elsewhere, if you've got to take your car anyway......park somewhere free and walk the dog. Aberdeenshire is full of wonderful dog-walking places that don't charge for parking. I am expecting a baby in August and was looking forward to taking my baby and dog to the lower paths at Bennachie that are pushchair-friendly, not now, we'll go to Fetternear or the likes. Think this is a bad move which has been met with a negative response by everyone I've talked to about it in Inverurie/Kemnay.

May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA Limond

was horrified to find the charges in place! having lived here all my life going up to the back o Bennachie or ESSONS car park was a normal evening for us! My family have lived round the slopes of Bennachie for over 600 years ( 601 to be precise) Bennachie is so iconic in the North East, that to charge to climb a mountain is ridiculous!!! it is a free resource to be enjoyed by all!!!

May 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Hogg

The introduction of charges is a disgrace. It is a double tax on those who are already paying for the Forestry Commision. Talk about ' biting the hand that feeds you '.

May 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Bruce

Locals should always be able to take a walk without cost, very soon many families will stop going to local walks because of the cost. Future generations will loose out. We need legislation so that if you are local you can walk without being charged.

If in an area tourists are needing paths built because of people volume then a small charge may be appropriate although a donation system would be more in keeping with a welcome to tourists.

Keep it free for locals then our kids will not be disadvantaged. In major towns huge amounts are spent trying to encourage kids to stay healthy and appreciate nature. In rural areas we are being charged !! why !!

May 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRod Webster

Love the way the signs currently apologize for not being up and running: that`s ok, we don`t mind!

June 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwalksquitefast

I see the car park ticket machines are up and running now - this is an outrage and does nothing to prmote a healthy outdoor lifestyle. I visited Bennachie 2 or 3 time a week but will not pay to park my car there, so need to find somewhere else to walk.

Is there a petition on the go?

March 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGordon

Couldnt agree more - I think it's a disgrace we now have to pay to visit
whats going on in these peoples minds and I don't buy the fact it's 'to pay for facilities'
Im sure all these trees they are felling are making plenty money for them..........

very very dissapointed

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSTOUGH

Reassuring to see that the parking charges are being routinely ignored, one evening last week I didn't see a single car (of the 20 or so I checked) with a pay and display sticker. There were some vehicles parked on the roadside outwith the car park, causing an obstruction which is not too clever either.
Any further comments from the Baillies or the Forestry Commission, or are we just stck with these charges?

May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHugh

I am a member of the Bailies of Bennachie and regularly walk on the hill, i was disgusted with FCS when i found out about the Car Parking Charges, this is just an easy way of making money out of the public, i believe the Bailies were against this idea but plans by FCS had already been agreed before the Bailies were informed about it, i won't be paying when i park there, and i am not sure if the parking tickets that are given out are actually legal and payment can be enforced? it is upsetting to read that people would rather go somewhere else to walk rather than walk in an area they enjoy, if everyone complained to the FCS surely they would have to listen!!

I have walk my late and present dogs at the Back o Bennachie for years now, regularly a few times a week and when the parking fees came into operation I vowed never to pay at the meter and to date I have never received a parking charge notice until yesterday! It was rather amusing when I found a ticket on my car but not on my friends car whom parked up at exactly the same time as me but just a little further up the car park!! Why did the warden pick yesterday an Aberdeen holiday to issue tickets!! If I was a visitor and received a ticket yesterday as many did! I would certainly never go back to the Forestry car park I think this was a mean and opportunist move on behalf of the Forestry Commission. I am not going to pay the charge and now I will go to the other walks I know in forests that at the moment do not charge! Good bye Back o Bennachie.

PLEASE send all your comments to the Forestry Commission -

October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBailies of Bennachie

The problem with rural parking charges in general is that once they become established, all other stopping places and laybys in the vicinity are blocked-off in order to maximinse revenue from the chargeable car park. Thus it affects not only your pocket but your freedom to stop when the need arises.This can even impact on safety, since if you have a pressing reason to stop such as an engine fault or a sick passenger, then you have no option but to stop on the carriageway itself.

I've seen this sort of thing in action in the South of England and I it's not a development I would want to see here. Point of fact, didn't Joni Mitchell write a song about that kind of malaise developing in the States, decades ago?

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIan Macdonald

It is absolute disgusting. The place is a disgrace where they are decimating parts of the forest to make money. I have been using it for over 20 years and today received a parking ticket whilst the other cars in there didn't. Bennachie is finished for me now. The car park is dangerous and full of pot holes, I wouldn't use the toilets if you paid me to, so what exactly is it we are paying for?

August 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterA little Irate

I wish people would stop moaning about getting parking tickets when other people don't, nobody likes getting parking tickets. The fact remains YOU didn't have a ticket. And what that has to do with the toilets, I fail to see, as (I believe) the Bailies have no control over these matters I think that complaints about the Parking Charges should be directed at FCS, and those about the toilets to the County Council. What's wrong with the Centre toilets anyhow??

September 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterC Sense

Parking is still FREE at Donview and Rowantree!

September 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDT

Is it actually legal for the FC to demand charges for parking on this land?
I wonder because on the ticket machine the word "Donation" is used, and in my understanding that word implies that payments are voluntary, as one might choose to donate to charity, and not compulsory. Perhaps it is legal for the FC to ask for a donation but not to demand payment, if so I'd guess they would be required to use the word "Donation" on their signs or machines to make this clear. Perhaps the fact that the magic word only appears in small writing on the LCD display which most people would only look at after they have paid is their way of attempting to blur the fact that people are not actually obliged to donate anything?
I am quite prepared to accept that I may be completely wrong in this, but if so why do they use the "D" word at all?

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

GD This reply is from FCS

FCS do have legal right to charge for car parking. Forestry Commission forests are regarded in the same terms as private ground would be for management purposes. The Forestry Commission do therefor have legal right to charge for car parking. The recovery of unpaid charges and associated reasonable costs of enforcement can be pursued via the courts under civil law. The word donation appears for those who may want to add something additional to the car parking fee as an extra contribution to help look after Bennachie.

Income from car park charges makes a significant contribution to the upkeep of car parks, paths and other recreation facilities in FCS forests. For example the recent work to repair the path from Little Oxen Craig to Oxen Craig, at around £18,000, was a significant proportion of one year’s income from car parking charges at the centre. The car parking charges also contribute to the running costs of the Bennachie centre and the wide variety of other work that is carried out each year to ensure that Bennachie is maintained as a safe, high quality destination . Without the income from the car park charges the amount of investment FCS is able to make in maintaining the recreation access network at Bennachie would be significantly reduced and major projects like the hill path repair would not be possible.

Thank you very much for your response, and I would suggest that maybe the points raised in your reply regarding the "donation" aspect and the purpose of the charges could be made clearer at the ticket machines. There is clearly a deep resentment amongst users of the carparks towards these charges, and the perception seems to be generally that this is just another cynical ploy to get more cash out of people's pockets. A little more sensitive PR at the machines may help to reduce some of this resentment and may even woo back some of the previous visitors who no longer use the carparks or have at least reduced the frequency of their visits as a direct result of the charges.

I can understand particularly the frustration of certain groups such as dog walkers who may visit every day but stay for less than an hour to wander along the forestry roads for half a mile and back again and never see the majority of the paths they are helping to fund. It would be a well appreciated gesture if parking was made free for up to, say, one hour after which the current charges would apply. This would be a very positive PR move.

It is good to know that the money received is actually being pumped back into the area to maintain a "safe, high quality destination" (I had to smile at the use of the corporate PR-speak here), and I appreciate the effort that has gone into creating the paths which are largely taken for granted. How many people are even aware that the FCS are responsible for these paths which extend well beyond the forested areas?

I note there is a charge of £30 for an annual ticket, and I wonder if this covers parking at all FCS sites or only the site where it was purchased.

March 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGD

I cant see how so many people are getting worked up about the small charge to park on Bennachie. The money goes back into funding of keeping the hill nice. For one the footpaths are luxurious compared to many other hills I've been up, two its great to have a proper carpark so you don't have to park on a grass verge, three, how many local hills can boast having a centre with activities for the kids both inside and out, refreshments including the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted, clean toilets and interesting exhibits, dog water bowl, friendly staff and a lovely shop! Really? Its a cheap day out for the whole family and I am happy to pay it. Michelle Clarkson.

August 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Clarkson