Frequently Asked Questions

I would like to organise an activity in the Sonian Forest. How do I best proceed?

Are you organizing a mountain bike tour for more than 100 mountain bikers or cyclo-crossers? Or a horseback ride with more than 25 riders? Then you need a licence. Please contact the administrators of the Sonian Forest for this licence:

For the Flemish Region:

Agentschap voor Natuur en Bos (Agency for Nature and Forests), Beheerregio Groenendaal, Duboislaan 14, 1560 Hoeilaart, tel. 02 658 84 61

More info related to organising activities in the Flemish Region

For the Brussels-Capital Region:

Bruxelles Environnement – Leefmilieu Brussel, Patrimoine Immobilier, Forêt et Nature, Bouwkundig Patrimonium, Bos en Natuur, Avenue du Port – Havenlaan 86C / 3000, 1000 Brussels, tel. 02 775 77 39

For the Walloon Region:

Département Nature et Forêts (Department of Nature and Forests), Canton of Nivelles, 12, Avenue Jean Monnet, 1400 Nivelles, tel. 067 88 42 90

You are not required to ask permission for every activity. For example, are you organising a walk or bicycle tour on the existing pathways in the Sonian Forest? Activities like this do not require a licence. Yet, we do recommend that you inform the Manager of the Sonian Forest ahead of time about the planned activity. This way you avoid ‘surprises’, and you can check whether any other events are planned for the same date.

I would like to gather wood from the Sonian Forest.? Can I ?

Gathering wood is not permitted in the Sonian Forest. After all, dead wood fulfils a crucial function in the forest’s ecosystem. The presence of dead wood maintains the health and diversity of the woods.

Has the wood from the Sonian Forest been awarded a sustainable forestry management certificate?

Yes, the wood from the Sonian Forest has been awarded sustainable forestry management certificates. Flanders and Brussels selected the FSC certificate; the Walloon Region opted for a PEFC certificate.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, non-profit organisation founded in 1993 by forest owners, timber and paper companies, social organisations and environmental groups. FSC strives for responsible forestry management in accordance with strict social, ecological and economic criteria.

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) is a non-governmental, environmental organisation which is active worldwide in the certification of sustainable forestry management.

The FSC and PEFC labels or claims on a timber or paper product guarantee that the product originates from responsibly managed forests. The use of the FSC and PEFC labels is subject to strict regulations and controls.

More info:,


What do I do if an accident occurs in the Sonian Forest?

Just as elsewhere, you can call 100 or 112 if you are involved in an accident in the Sonian Forest. Do consider the fact that your mobile phone connectivity decreases the further you are from the perimeter of the forest.

What should I do in the event of theft in the Sonian Forest?

Theft can be reported in the closest police station.

This map shows the police stations in the neighbourhood of the Sonian Forest:



Where am I permitted to fish in the Sonian Forest?

You can cast your line in the Sonian Forest at these spots:
  • Putsel Pond and Linden Pond (Groenendaal) and Vossem Pond (Tervuren). In order to enjoy fishing in these waters, you must have a fishing licence. You can purchase one in any post office or order one online. More information about the fishing regulations can be found at
  • Pond 3 of the Rouge-Cloître Abbey: For permission to fish in Pond 3 of the Rouge-Cloître Abbey, please contact the Société centrale pour la protection de la pêche fluviale (Central Society for the Protection of the Fluvial Fish), Contact person: Michel Vanbrusselen, place Meiers 4, box 12, 1150 Brussels, tel. 02 772 07 70 or 0479 63 11 63, michel.vanbrusselen[at]

May I start a fire in the forest?

No, starting fires is strictly forbidden in the Sonian Forest.


Am I permitted to pick flowers or mushrooms in the forest?

No, picking flowers and mushrooms is not permitted in the forest. Every plant, no matter how small, fulfils a crucial role in the ecosystem of the Sonian Forest.


Is my dog permitted to run without a leash in the forest?

Dogs must always remain on their leashes in the Sonian Forest. They may only run freely in the dog zones. Pet owners are always responsible for their own dogs. On this map you will find the dog zones in the Sonian Forest: