Dear Camping in the Forest,
We are big fans and have been regular visitors for many years now to your campsites. The Hollands Wood, Ocknell, Matley Wood and Longbeech sites are some of our favourite in the country. Not only are we regulars but we have also featured in one of your promotional videos and been employed by yourselves to promote Camping in the Forest on our social media and blog sites. We have always recommended your sites to friends, family and followers.
It will not come as a surprise then, that we were incredibly saddened to be told on arrival at your Ocknell site this weekend that we are no longer welcome on your campsites. The reason being that we do not have a sliding window fitted in our converted campervan and are therefore deemed to be ‘unsafe”.
It doesn’t matter to you that we have more than adequate ventilation thanks to our multiple skylights (including a sophisticated fan system) and multiple drop out vents, not to mention a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, LPG alarm, fire extinguisher and gas safety certificate. Nor do you take into consideration that we are professional campervan converters and place safety as an absolute priority when building our campervans. There may be many credible reasons why people do not opt for sliding windows in their builds, security being the most obvious factor and expense being another, but again, this has not been factored in to your new rules.
One of the reasons we love your sites is the inclusivity of them. From the beautiful big motorhomes and RV’s through to the solo hikers with one man tents on their backs, all are welcome. And you can thank your consistently fantastic and welcoming staff who make sure everyone feels it. We were included in this welcome, now we are not. Nor are thousands of others who like us are passionate campers who have dedicated a lot of time and money to creating their dream campervan or employed others to do so.
Whilst we absolutely do see the necessity for extra safety measures to be added when welcoming the ever growing numbers of converted vehicles onto your sites, we would please ask you to consider that there are far more thorough and fair means of assessing this. A quick inspection to see if there is adequate ventilation within the vehicle would not take much longer than a cursory glance at windows. I know that your staff (including the extremely kind man who explained the new rules to us this weekend) would be far happier to do this instead of turning holiday makers away from the site unnecessarily.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and we hope you will seriously reconsider your new rules. We would be genuinely devastated if we could no longer attend any of your wonderful sites. And considering you are owned by the Camping & Caravan Club, other sites will be looking to you for guidance in running their own. It would be a terrible hit to the camping community if you were to turn your backs on such a large selection of campers. The world desperately needs more inclusivity, not more division.
Izzy & Laurie