Though it is private property, the Forest's owners permit extensive public access. However, visitors are asked to note that there are NO vehicular rights of way, nor any public footpaths, anywhere in the Forest. To maintain its private status (especially to prevent the creation of vehicular rights of way) Savernake Forest's roads have to be shut on one day a year - usually the first working day of each year - in a joint operation by the Savernake Estate and their tenants the Forestry Commission. On that one day every road into the Forest is physically barriered and all cars are turned away.
Except on that one day a year, cars are permitted to drive down the various main avenues of the Forest, though many of the side roads into the plantations have been barriered off by the Forestry Commission to prevent damage by vehicles. Pedestrians may walk where they like, though they are asked to respect the few signs protecting the various groups of private houses scattered through the Forest.