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25/05/2016

Glenariffe Forest Campsite - no more tents

Sadly Glenariffe Forest Campsite in Co Antrim, following it's revitalisation, will no longer be accepting tents. It has spaces for caravans and future provision for some glamping pods but tents are not welcome. 

This post follows on from a Facebook Discussion on Northern Ireland Campsite Forums Facebook page. One of our members, Laura, was appalled to find that her favourite campsite would no longer be available to her. 


Laura had written to the Forestry Commission and had received a response which was posted on Facebook. 


"The new caravan site was constructed following discussions with the local District Council who had previously commissioned a report into tourism provision within the Moyle area. At the time of design it was considered that the greatest need was to provide a 5* caravan site in the first instance and to leave space within the site for ‘glamping pods’ which could be added later if demand requires this." (extract from response by customer.forestservice:daera-ni.gov.uk)

So what's in a name. There is the term 'Caravan Site'. How many of them have pitches suitable for tents? The answer is that the majority of Caravan sites are also Camping sites and the majority of Camp sites have pitches suitable for caravans.

The name is not regulated by law. A provider can call their camping provision whatever they like, and accept any units regardless of the name which they use to describe the facility as long as they have the relevant planning permissions to operate.

"I was disappointed to hear on Facebook that the new campsite at Glenariffe will no longer be offering pitches for tents. This is despite the fact that it previously did. There also appears to be campers facilities provided, which is at odds with the lack of tent spaces. Caravans and Motorhomes do not need a 'campers kitchen' as they already have these facilities on board." (extract)

The Forestry Commission has decided to exclude tents in this instance and the question is why. What is the  point of excluding part of your revenue. As a tenter I often pay exactly the same as a caravan pitch which can be anything from £18 to £25 per night. I also use a hook up which is often an extra £3 to £4 on top of that rate. I'm happy to do so as I think it should not matter what kind of unit you are in - the pitch is being paid for regardless of whether it's a tent, a caravan, a camper van or a trailer tent. 

They also state that they are a 5* facility. 

Does this mean that tent campers aren't deserving enough to use a 5* facility? I guess this is going back to the old misconceptions about campers. 

Recently a discussion took place on Northern Ireland Campsites Forums Facebook page about Caravanners attitudes towards seeing tents on site. Unsurprisingly it proved to be controversial with some members having a somewhat snobbish attitude towards campers. However the overwhelming opinion of the majority of members stated that they were happy to see campers on site. Indeed many of them had been campers themselves at one time or other in their lives.

All of the people, regardless of whether they are campers or caravanners and who use these campsites have some money in their pockets which they are willing to  hand over in order to provide themselves with their chosen form of accommodation. 

I can only surmise that the banning of tents and therefore campers is discriminatory and will needlessly reduce the amount of accommodation cover for the area which is very popular with tourists. 





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