All your questions... answered!

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I find you?

ROOTS, Forest of Dean
Mallards Pike Lake
Parkend, Near Lydney
Gloucestershire GL15 4HD

Sat Navs are not very accurate in the Forest of Dean. To find Mallards Pike Lake, take the B4234 from Parkend (Fancy Road) heading EAST. Do not take a turning north onto Cannop road or New road (also the B4234) but continue on Fancy Road until you reach Mallards Pike on the left hand side. Including from Beechenhurst, please note parking charges apply onsite, see Forestry Commission webpage for more details. www.forestryengland.uk/forestofdean

Can I park my bike safely with you?

Near the new cafe, about thirty metres away you can park and lock your bikes. It is possible, at your own discretion, to park bikes by a tree near the ‘Roots’ entrance. Either way, bring your own bike lock!

Where do I park and how much does it cost?

Depending on the length of stay the Forestry Commission charges between £2.00 and £5.00 for car parking.

Mallards Pike Lake is managed by the Forestry Commission, some of the work they do is visible and includes providing footpath, play and cycle trail maintenance, while other projects are less visible but equally as important, such as monitoring tree health and enhancing our ecosystems. Car parking income also pays for other site maintenance to keep visitors safe, waymarked trails and provision of picnic facilities. For more information please see www.forestryengland.uk/forestofdean

What do you recommend I wear?

Sensible clothing and shoes. Wellies are fine if you are walking. Trainers are more useful. Not many children are content to be just walking and so we recommend you bring a change of shoes/trainers in case they get wet when jumping over one of the streams. Sometimes it can be very muddy in particular, after rainfall. Trainers need to have a good grip.
We recommend full body cover (long sleeves and trousers).

What do you recommend I eat before and after the course?

We recommend the course is not tackled on an empty stomach or within half an hour (a snack) to an hour (full meal) of eating. Children, in particular, will struggle with their balance and concentration if they are travelling on empty! See our blog for ideas on nutrition.

How long are the five levels?

Levels one to five are approximately 1km to 5km respectively. Levels one to three are currently available. Level one needs to be completed before level two can be taken on and so on.

How fit do I need to be?

As a minimum, you need to be able to walk 1km and to be able to climb over a fallen tree trunk or jump over a small stream. Roots becomes addictive, especially for children. Recognising and understanding our personal limits is part of the Roots journey. For you and your child/ren, it is about pushing outside your own perceived boundaries - going that bit further whilst remaining safe.

Is any additional support available?

We are continually evolving so more people can join the Roots courses. Please call us with any specific requirements and we will do our best to accommodate specific needs.
Tel: 01432 840574

Can buggies, pushchairs or bikes access the courses?

No, unfortunately the course is not suitable for any of these.

Can I take pictures?

One purpose of the course is for children to be fully immersed, mind and body, without media interruption and for parents to temporarily drop any worries they are burdened with, so they can take notice of the forest and even the tiniest of species, plant and animal, that are part of its make-up. We have therefore created an area near the entrance, with some obstacles, where you can take photographs after completing your course.

Are there facilities such as toilets and cafe?

Yes, there is a toilet block and a cafe on site.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, dogs are allowed off the lead on level one, on the lead for other levels (to protect wildlife).


When are you open?

Term time:
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am - 4pm
Young Roots, Root Explore, Root Force, Root Groups, Root Care.

Tuesday to Sunday 10am - 4pm
Young Roots, Root Explore, Root Groups.

How do I find you?

Pre-book online. If there are any free spaces on the day we will be able to welcome you and can take cash payment only with no internet signal in the Forest.

How do I book?

You can book all your tickets online on this website:

Are there group discounts?

10% discount will be applicable to group orders of 10 tickets or more on 'Group Roots'

Do I need to pay a deposit for group bookings?

We ask 50% for all group bookings and for full payment to be received one week prior to the event taking place.

Can I amend an existing booking?

Yes and there is no charge for this. Contact us on 01432 840574 if you need to amend an existing booking.

What is your cancellation policy?

Call us if you need to cancel and we will make a full refund if made one week prior to your booking. Deposits for group bookings are non-refundable.

What happens if the weather is bad?

Suggested reading: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather’ by Linda Akeson McGurk.
As a general rule, if the Severn Bridge is open, we are open. If we feel the wind is too strong or weather too adverse, we will need to close for safety reasons. If in doubt, please check out our website before leaving.


How fit do I need to be?

As a minimum, you need to be able to walk 1km and to be able to climb over a fallen tree trunk and jump over a stream.

What if I have an existing medical condition?

All participants need to fill in a waiver form before starting a course, declaring any existing medical conditions and taking responsibility for your own wellbeing. Understanding your own limits is important, as is the difference between risk benefits and risk alerts.

Is it safe to take part if I am pregnant?

We do not recommend you run the courses if you are pregnant due to the nature of the obstacles which require balance and coordination. Slips and trips are inevitable. There are ways you can participate if you are part of a group activity.


Where can I find out more about family activities?
Where can I find out more about group activities?
Where can I find out more about school activities?


Where can I find out more about your research relative to health?
Where can I find out more about your research relative to education?
Where can I find out more about your research relative to the environment?
Where can I find out more about your research relative to family and social wellbeing?
Where can I find out more about your research relative to pain management?
Where can I find out more about your research relative to physical activity and sport?

Finding Roots

Tucked away in the Forest of Dean is where you will find ROOTS.