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Pandemic Safety Rules Force Closure Of Chantry Woods Campsite

Published on: 12 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 15 Aug, 2020

Chantries Camp Site

Council fears over safety during the pandemic have spelt bad news for fans of the Chantry Woods campsite. Cllr James Steel, lead for the Environment, has said: “We are unable to open the Chantry Woods campsite for the rest of this year.

“We are aware what a special place this area is and how much local groups and camping enthusiasts enjoy visiting this spectacular beauty spot.

“But due to the open nature of the campsite, and the basic facilities, we are unable to ensure you and our staff would be kept safe in line with ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidelines. We are working hard to look at ways to safely re-open it.

Cllr James Steel

“Other local campsites are open near by, including Homestead Farm in Wanborough on the northern slopes of the Hog’s Back, a secluded site offering pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes, surrounded by beautiful forest. Showers and toilets are open although other amenities may be restricted.

“Embers Campsite at Polesden Lacey offers a unique experience of camping in the Surrey Hills at one of England’s most beautiful National Trust properties. The campsite is close to the centre of the estate and you can enjoy direct access to the gardens during your stay.

“For more information on accommodation in the Guildford area including campsites, glamping sites and caravan sites visit:

“We also have free attractions to visit safely across Guildford for you and your family to enjoy with nearly 700 hectares of award-winning parks, playgrounds and countryside.

“If you’re looking for things to do with the family over the summer pop into the Tourist Information Office on the main high street in Guildford where our friendly staff can provide you with a free map and recommendations on local events and ideas for all the family to enjoy. Visit:

“Our fantastic Guildford museum opened its doors again last month after being closed for nearly a year for essential repairs. Entry is free to this hidden gem and a perfect place to take the family on a rainy afternoon. The museum is open Wednesday – Saturday 12-4.30pm (last admission 4pm).

“We are continuing to work with local businesses to provide support and help during these challenging times. Cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants in Guildford and the surrounding area are in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme where you can get 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to £10 per person every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until August 31.

“Free parking is also available in all pay-and-display car parks in the town centre from 4pm Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while the scheme is running.

“Closing Chantry Woods has not been an easy decision but one we feel is essential to maintain your safety, our priority. The Coronavirus (Covid 19) is still here and we must ensure we keep Guildford as safe as possible to prevent any local lockdowns now being experienced by other areas of the UK.”

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Responses to Pandemic Safety Rules Force Closure Of Chantry Woods Campsite

  1. Catherine Fowler Reply

    August 13, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I’m not surprised. Even in a normal year, the council tries as hard as possible to limit use of the campsite. Last year it took a sustained public campaign to avoid it being closed altogether. This year, even before the lockdown, they weren’t taking bookings for this summer – no doubt there’ll be another reason next year. Then the council will claim the campsite is underused and try to close it again.

    I know this site well and I am at a loss as to why it couldn’t have reopened safely this summer, but I’d like to see GBC at least commit to making a proper go of it once this lockdown is over. Meaning: introducing a basic booking system, open to bookings early enough that we (the people of Guildford) are able to properly enjoy this beautiful space. The council are supposed to be operating it on behalf of all of us – and not continually trying to keep it closed, which seems their current approach.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    August 15, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Since when was “go somewhere else” a way of ensuring safety?

    Has a risk assessment, so beloved of ‘elf’ ‘n’ safety jobsworths, been conducted on the peculiar danger presented by use of this site? Surely its open nature makes it more safe, not less? Are the “basic facilities” given as a reason because the council doesn’t want to clean the toilets?

    Politicians should understand that they are partly elected on the basis of the expansive promises in their glossy leaflets, which claim they will do this that and the other for people. If, instead, they prevent social activities and refuse to deal with anti-social ones, such as littering, then they must expect normal people to regard them as not much use.

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