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To not want daughter going to a wood by herself?

(533 Posts)
Vellia Fri 26-Apr-19 00:18:14

Dd is 16. We live in a town with lots of countryside/footpaths at close proximity. About a 15 minute walk away from our house, you get to the edge of some farmers’ fields. If you walk down the side of one of these you find yourself in a lovely small wood. At the moment the bluebells are out and it’s absolutely magical.

Over Easter, dd and I have gone for a walk in this wood most mornings before she starts revising (I work in a school so have school holidays off). But in a few weeks’ time she’ll be off school on pre-GCSE study leave while I’ll be working.

She’s said in passing that she’s going to go for a walk in the woods at the start of each day to get herself in the right frame of mind for revision.

I feel rather uncomfortable about this as the wood is a significant distance away from the road & any houses. Definitely out of ear-shot. And the wood is never very busy - we rarely bump into more than one or two people, mostly dog walkers; often it’s entirely empty apart from us.

AIBU to think it would be unwise for dd to go walking there by herself? Would I be unreasonable to tell her she can’t?

SarahAndQuack Fri 26-Apr-19 00:37:04


I was expecting you to say she was 6 or 8.

Will she have her phone?

I can't see the issue, especially if - as you say - it's a place where there are rarely other people.

Haggisfish Fri 26-Apr-19 00:39:03

Yabvu. She’s probably far safer there than walking on a pavement. I’ve walked in woods on my own for over 40 years without incident. Don’t let your misconceptions about risk impact on your daughter.

Greeborising Fri 26-Apr-19 00:47:16

Sorry but I agree with OP.
I would be very uncomfortable walking alone in those circumstances let alone the thought of my 16yo dd doing it.
It’s very sad but it really isn’t safe for women on their own to walk anywhere that is deserted, be it an alley way at night or a bluebell wood in the morning.
Shit happens
Has it crossed anyone else’s mind that a place where “there are rarely other people” is an ideal spot for someone with ill intent to plan something after observing that a lone young woman is walking in the woods every morning?
I’m afraid we live in dark times

Greeborising Fri 26-Apr-19 00:48:43

Ps If you feel uncomfortable about it OP, listen to your gut

Haggisfish Fri 26-Apr-19 00:48:49

But we don’t. We think we do but the actual risk is no greater than it has been.

Haggisfish Fri 26-Apr-19 00:50:50

I’m actually really sad for your dd-she is doing something which is brilliant for both her mental and physical health and is a great habit to form at a young age and you are potentially stopping her from doing it.

Greeborising Fri 26-Apr-19 00:51:15

Very true.
The risk has always been there. It still is

Creamnosugar Fri 26-Apr-19 00:51:38

Well as she's 16 I think you could tell that she cant and she will just go ahead & do it anyway. Maybe tell her why you're concerned and suggest she takes her phone with her.

IwishIwasaspaceman Fri 26-Apr-19 00:52:21

What is it with some people? They just don't get it do they?

16 year old girl alone in forest. No-one generally around. Maybe 1 person who is around is the 1 person who will mug her for her phone or sexually assault her or even murder her. Yes, the last two of these are probably rare but they do happen and the best thing to do is minimise the risks by not putting yourself in unnecessary danger.

Greeborising Fri 26-Apr-19 00:52:36

The walk sounds lovely.
Do it with company

Teribar Fri 26-Apr-19 00:57:51

Seriously I wouldn't be happy with my 21 year old daughter doing this especially on a regular basis. It only takes one person to rape or murder her.

Could you live with yourself if anything happened to her?

Haggisfish Fri 26-Apr-19 00:57:57

cashmerecardigans Fri 26-Apr-19 00:59:47

I'm sorry but I find this really depressing. I absolutely refuse to live my life based on the fear that something bad might happen. The chances of that happening are far less than the joy and wellbeing she will get from walking.
I walk my dog every morning in similar environments and the peace it gives me is amazing. Good for her for recognising the value of it and let her be. It's part of letting her go gradually. I know it's hard but it's part of the process.

cashmerecardigans Fri 26-Apr-19 01:01:24

Teribar, just need to point out that if anything bad does happen, it isn't her mothers fault

Tavannach Fri 26-Apr-19 01:04:29

Can she take a dog with her? If you don't have one is there a neighbour who would appreciate their dog being walked?
I understand your anxiety, but the walk sounds lovely.

Disquieted1 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:05:28

Don't go with your gut, go with your brain. I'm convinced that people don't fundamentally understand risk.

Let her enjoy her morning strolls.

TheSmallAssassin Fri 26-Apr-19 01:07:42

Young men are much more at risk of being assaulted than young women. People known to you are more likely to assault you than strangers. Let's stop living our lives in fear and teaching our daughters to fear things unnecessarily.

Greeborising Fri 26-Apr-19 01:07:43

cash I agree it’s depressing.
It really shouldn’t be this way but it is.
I’m all for ‘letting them go’ really I am
It’s like the first time they go to a concert etc but I’m afraid walking in a deserted wood alone is just foolish

Grotesque Fri 26-Apr-19 01:09:57

I agree with cashmerecardigans.

I walk/run through woodland or the moors every day alone. I've done it since I was in my teens. Just be aware of your surroundings, have easy access to your phone (set up the SOS options if it has them) & always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back

I get more hassle walking to the corner shop than I ever do when out walking.

Could a friend join her?

LifeImplosionImminent Fri 26-Apr-19 01:10:09

I think the risk is her making a routine of it. Just make sure she is aware of her surroundings and not glued to her phone with headphones on.

I always got really paranoid when my daughters went on school trips/holidays/days out with other families but I had to swallow my irrational fear because not doing anything for fear of dying is not really living. Won't stop you from worrying though.

HennyPennyHorror Fri 26-Apr-19 01:19:52

Get her a dog. Seriously. We wanted our DDs to have freedom but were nervous. We bought a Guardian dog. It's huge and well trained. When DD or other DD goes out, the dog goes with them.

You'd have to be an idiot to approach our DD's with anything other than a smile and good intentions when he's alongside them.

soulrunner Fri 26-Apr-19 01:22:28

Was coming on to say what Life just said. I refuse to let the threat of male violence dominate my life because the risk of stranger violence is very small, and yet the impact it has on women's lives is huge. Your dd is much more likely to be raped or assaulted by someone she knows at a college party than by a random attacker staking out the bluebell wood. So actually, despite what green says, from a risk point of view you're actually safer skipping the party and going for a run in a wood alone in the pitch dark.

I'm a keen trail runner and love the isolation of the trails. That said, my main precaution is not making a routine of it. Mix up times of day or find alternating routes for that time of day. Don't have ear buds in.

So, I get why you're worried as I was just musing when out the other day that I'm not sure I'd be happy with DD doing what I do, but at the same time, we need to recognize that humans are terrible at risk assessment.

RagingWhoreBag Fri 26-Apr-19 01:24:30

I used to go for a walk in the woods alone at that age. There’s something really grounding about being in nature alone.

Practically she’s much more likely to be sexually assaulted at a party or being walked home by a boy she knows. Depressing but true. Don’t let irrational fear impact on her. There’s no sensible reason she shouldn’t go for a walk, unless you’re also going to ban parties, walking alone to the shops, travelling on a train alone, having a boyfriend, or a male friend, with whom she spends time alone, spending time with uncles, grandads, tutors etc. These are all much higher risk than a walk in the woods.

Greeborising Fri 26-Apr-19 01:31:14

Do you not think there’s an element of ‘safety in numbers’?
They hang out with friends at parties etc
They all look out for each other
What’s all this ‘spending time with uncles , grandads, tutors etc’ ?!
I can see I’m disappearing up my own here but I’m afraid I stand by my original thoughts and comments
A 16 yo walking alone in deserted woods at a regular time each morning is risky

nanny2012nanny Fri 26-Apr-19 01:33:52

What is the world coming too

Someoneonlyyouknow Fri 26-Apr-19 01:35:41

Make sure she has her phone and texts you when she is home again. Have a discussion with her about risk and ensure she understands your concerns, without trying to panic her. Listen when she tells you how she feels about going places on her own and why she wants to do this morning walk. Then let her do it. If she goes the same time every day she will probably see the same dog walkers and have company if she wants it. Like any aspect of living independently, you have to gradually trust your DC to look after themselves.

quizqueen Fri 26-Apr-19 01:36:05

Would she get up early and you walk together before you go to work?

Sculpin Fri 26-Apr-19 01:38:09

I would let my DD do this. As others have said, the risk of harm is far lower than crossing the road or other things we do without a second thought.

IncrediblySadToo Fri 26-Apr-19 01:40:01

I’m afraid we live in dark times


🙄 don’t be so melodramatic.

She’s going for a walk in the bluebell woods on a spring/summer morning, not cruising Downtown LA at 2am. FGS.

soulrunner Fri 26-Apr-19 01:40:42

Do you not think there’s an element of ‘safety in numbers’?

The facts suggest otherwise. I can see why you'd assume that though. I also accept that getting date raped at a party, whilst awful, is not as bad as getting raped (and probably murdered) by a stranger. However, the chances of the latter happening are vanishingly small. Even if you analyse "stranger murders" very few are just "lying in wait" scenarios. Most are "lure back to house under false pretenses" or "meet up under false pretenses" scenarios.

managedmis Fri 26-Apr-19 01:41:03

I wouldn't let my dd do this

Disquieted1 Fri 26-Apr-19 01:43:24

Stop it please!
Dogs, phones, messages, call-in times, risk assessments...
She will have wonderful and memorable times strolling amongst the bluebells, as long as you don't scare her to death.

RagingWhoreBag Fri 26-Apr-19 01:45:04

*They hang out with friends at parties etc
They all look out for each other
What’s all this ‘spending time with uncles , grandads, tutors etc’ ?!*

My point is, if you’re trying to prevent your DD being sexually assaulted or killed, those are the people/places to avoid - not the bluebell woods. The chances of being attacked by your boyfriend are much much higher than those of being attacked by a stranger in a wood, so there’s literally no point telling her not to go the woods to keep her safe - it’s probably one of the safest places she could be!!

More women are beaten up/killed by the man sitting next to them on the sofa than by anyone else.

Tavannach Fri 26-Apr-19 01:46:01

The point about routine is a fair one. She could vary the time and the route.

Macandcheese05 Fri 26-Apr-19 02:00:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoomBoomsCousin Fri 26-Apr-19 02:03:20

Walking in the woods on your own is not a high risk activity.

Talking to your daughter as though it is, setting up "precautionary" measures, etc. is an exercise in paranoia and likely to decrease her general happiness and increase her chances of getting mental health problems like anxiety.

Taytotots Fri 26-Apr-19 02:10:06

hmm as said above the risk is minimal. She is far more likely to be hit by a car whilst walking down the street to the wood i would have thought. Are you saying that no woman should hike alone? By all means make sure she takes a phone with her but more in case she twists an ankle or something. What a nice thing to do before revision.

AmeriAnn Fri 26-Apr-19 02:13:35

I used to go to the woods alone after school starting at age 6. It was magical.

I used to ride a pony through the woods, alone, at age 10.

mathanxiety Fri 26-Apr-19 03:27:59

One of my DDs goes for walks by herself in both woods and an urban area where you kick syringes out of your path. Both locations really bother me and I worry about her all the time. I hate to think of her sitting on her couch being afraid to go out, but all the same I have been encouraging her to take up yoga instead of walking.

adaline Fri 26-Apr-19 05:57:19

I walk alone with my dog everyday - to places completely off the beaten track and where I couldn't even hear a car let alone be seen by one.

It's fine. Your DD will be fine.

I also don't know how you plan on stopping her when you won't be home anyway!

MaybeitsMaybelline Fri 26-Apr-19 06:02:02

I wouldn’t, I live in what is deemed a pretty safe area, a 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted on the path through our woods a few weeks ago. It’s a regular short cut to the high school, so maybe the man knew at some point a lone dog walker or school girl would pass through.

I would run it, I think having that level of physical fitness gives you an advantage, and I would walk it with a big dog.

But walk on my own, nah.

mathanxiety Fri 26-Apr-19 06:02:56

You're not alone with a dog though, Adaline.

Shutuptodd Fri 26-Apr-19 06:06:01

I cant see a problem. I've been going for walks by myself in the woods since I was 14. As others have said it's probably safer than being out in a city. She probably has the added safety of a phone which I never had.

DoraleeRhodes Fri 26-Apr-19 06:15:06

It’s a walk in the woods, let her go!

Nacreous Fri 26-Apr-19 06:18:53

I really don't think the countryside is on average a very dangerous place. It's not no risk, but it is low risk, and much lower risk for things like being assaulted than clubs or bars or anything else.

I am probably biased because I've been playing in woods with just one friend and no adult supervision at least 15 minutes walk from my parents since I was 10. And walking alone in the countryside since I was 12. But I really do think that overall the risks are very low. I'm mid twenties so it's not like I was doing this in some bygone magically safe era.

It sounds like your daughter has come up with a great plan to look after her mental and physical well-being. If you're worried could you ask her to text you before she goes and when she gets back? (Though ultimately I don't think this will reduce the anxiety as the likelihood of her forgetting to text is going to be vastly higher than of anything happening to her.)

Rafabella8 Fri 26-Apr-19 06:19:47

Oh dear OP; there's a fine line between a 'mother's worry' and instilling real paranoia in your DD. The walk sounds absolutely beautiful. I grew up surrounded by woods - it was our very own natures playground for the vast majority of my childhood and young adult years. Yes, we've all seen horrific incidents on the news, but in your case and statistically speaking? @Haggisfish posted a brilliant link. Rather than frighten your daughter into not talking the daily walk, make sure she has the life skills to be appropriately aware of her surroundings - helping her to develop a healthy intuition is far more powerful and will serve her well in life. If the woods are simply too isolated for you to not worry, go with her and/or take a dog?

CaptainMarvelDanvers Fri 26-Apr-19 06:24:12

Going to the same isolated place at the same time every morning would increase her risk level. The routine really is going to be the main issue, in my opinion.

BastianBux Fri 26-Apr-19 06:26:49



To think how many woods I'd explored by that age...

HBStowe Fri 26-Apr-19 06:27:43

Yes, the last two of these are probably rare but they do happen and the best thing to do is minimise the risks by not putting yourself in unnecessary danger.

You can’t not live your life in order to minimise an already tiny risk. Women would never go anywhere if this was the attitude!

The vast, vast majority of sexual assaults are perpetrated by people known to the victim. The chances of a random attack from a stranger lurking in the shadows are profoundly low.

Let her go, and tell her to take her phone. She’s in far more danger, in my opinion, of learning that because she’s a woman she shouldn’t do low-risk activities that she loves because of an unfounded fear.

BlueMerchant Fri 26-Apr-19 06:31:43

I think it will be good for her mentally and physically to have a brisk walk through the woods on a morning before revision.
She sounds like a bright girl and she will have a phone with her am sure.
I'd ask her to do a practice run while I'm at home waiting one weekend. It may put your mind at ease.

YeOldeTrout Fri 26-Apr-19 06:36:51

Like anything else, you prepare them with strategies for what to do if creepy people are around. Who can be anywhere but tend to prefer places with higher people concentration. I'd be down there any daylight hours. Night time is just a problem when you can't see the space around you as well. Same in a very dark area of town. Woods have lower concentration of homeless people so probably safer on whole.

I was walking around wood like that (usually with a dog, not with friends) from the age of 9yo. No phone in 1970s. Sounds like a great place to go running.

wertuio Fri 26-Apr-19 06:38:37

Let her go.
Stop teaching her that she should be worried about the worst that can happen, and start encouraging her to consider the best outcome.
The walk will have so many potential long term benefits for her and the risk is infinitesimally small.

Veterinari Fri 26-Apr-19 06:38:45

Yes, the last two of these are probably rare but they do happen and the best thing to do is minimise the risks by not putting yourself in unnecessary danger.

So never cross a road, drive a car, go to a pub, attend a party? All of these are higher risk activities for rape and murder than walking.

YeOldeTrout Fri 26-Apr-19 06:39:32

ps: my dog used to bite people, but the one time someone tried to sexually molest me (I was 5yo) she ignored them (!)

Not some historical innocent idyll; instead I grew up in a plenty-crime big city outside UK. Had (has) lots of rough ground and tall shrub patches to explore. Mega-homeless there problem even now.

Charmlight Fri 26-Apr-19 06:45:12

The risk might be increased by the routine. I have spent much time in that sort of place, but only with large dogs, and not at the same time daily. I do not think it’s a good idea
However, she’s 16 and in charge of her own day - she probably won’t even go.

WitsEnding Fri 26-Apr-19 06:45:35

I'm often out walking in isolated places and in the (midsize) city at night. I've done it all my life and I'm fine - it's benefited me in all sorts of ways, particularly confidence. My mother has never been keen but she's wrong and it lowers my opinion of her.

OhTheRoses Fri 26-Apr-19 06:54:16

My head tells me risk is minimal. But.
As a child I wandered free across fields and woods in Kent. As a young adult took regular walks on Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common. Beautiful places; always felt safe.

Anyone remember the Lin Russell and Rachel Nickel murders. It does happen.

AndwhenyougetthereFoffsomemore Fri 26-Apr-19 06:55:27

Blimey, amazed how many people would avoid this: my 13 and 15 year old both do a similar thing - and I love that they are aware of the calming impact of walking, alone time and nature, even if I did worry a bit the first few times. I would expect sensible precautions (think about phone being accessible/quick to call; no headphones; if you see anyone who makes you uncomfortable leave straight away; don't be polite, be safe; vary walk time; maybe try and buddy up sometimes) but as others have said, she's probably at far higher risk at a party in real terms.

Fridakahlofan Fri 26-Apr-19 06:55:43

16!!!! Of course she can go for a walk in a local wood to see the bluebells

Orangeballon Fri 26-Apr-19 07:02:11

Definitely let her go. But probably she won’t go when the time comes as she will have forgotten or slept in or busy revising, it’s just an idea at the moment.

Yinderling Fri 26-Apr-19 07:08:36

Life is full of risks. I live in a big city, I can bring up stories over the last 12 months of women (and some men) being raped in the local park, woodland, behind a supermarket, in a car park, walking down the street and in their own house.
Risk is everywhere and we can't rule our lives by it.

ArgyMargy Fri 26-Apr-19 07:10:40

Please don't indoctrinate your daughter with the idea that women can't go anywhere on their own. That's the real risk - that she starts to believe this nonsense. Hopefully it's not too late.

lastqueenofscotland Fri 26-Apr-19 07:14:28

I am amazed how many people would avoid doing this. Actually amazed. I assume none of you ever get in a car or let your teenage sons out alone as statistically lone males are the most likely victims of unprovoked crime

MrsPerfect12 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:14:55

My daughter comes up with these ideas all the time. Will she stick to it or just go once or twice then be fed up of it?

Explain the dangers and let her go.

BlueSkiesLies Fri 26-Apr-19 07:15:50

Jesus Christ I can’t believe this thread is for real. Totally batshit.

SinkGirl Fri 26-Apr-19 07:16:59

I think the risk is her making a routine of it.

Exactly this and I’m surprised others aren’t realising it

RHTawneyonabus Fri 26-Apr-19 07:18:34

And if this was your son would it be different?

I walked through a wood and across fields to school every day when I was at secondary. I never saw anyone else and nothing ever happened.

SoupDragon Fri 26-Apr-19 07:19:11

You're not alone with a dog though, Adaline.

A dog is not some magic protective cloak.

EvaHarknessRose Fri 26-Apr-19 07:19:59

Life is not worth living if you can’t walk alone among the bluebells whenever you feel like it.

Runbitchrun Fri 26-Apr-19 07:30:48

amazed at how many people are saying it’s too risky. She’s 16 - I was walking home from clubs at 2am, alone, at 16. Of course you can provide links to people who have been raped or murdered in this scenario - I could provide you with links to cases where people are murdered in their own home, or at work, or at a social gathering. Shit happens. That doesn’t mean you don’t live your life. How depressing that there are people raising their daughters to think they have to hide away.

CherryPavlova Fri 26-Apr-19 07:37:12

Walking outdoors in beautiful places is very, very good for mental health and excellent at reducing stress. Pity more youngsters don’t do it.
I walk most days alone through woods. It’s lovely.
My children have walked alone through woods, fields, over stiles, up fells etc since they were about twelve.
Much safer than hanging around in gangs in parks and on street corners.
Luckily the daughter is less neurotic than her mother. It is the panicking at the thought of a lone walk that is more likely to create problems.

TerryWogansWilly Fri 26-Apr-19 07:37:33

I can't see the issue, especially if - as you say - it's a place where there are rarely other people.

You really can't see the issue? hmm

amazed at how many people are saying it’s too risky. She’s 16 - I was walking home from clubs at 2am, alone, at 16.

Your parents shit parenting aside, you were probably safer where people could see you than in a random wood alone. You get vagrants and randoms out living in woods near me and no, it's not safer than being in town.

OP I don't know what to say, I'd find it nerve-wracking myself but she is 16 and it's in the day so I suppose she should be let to make the decision herself.

MrsMercurio Fri 26-Apr-19 07:38:13

Most rapes and murders are perpetrated by people the victims know. FACT!!

I walk in the woods every day with my dog who is no bodyguard, but I don't need a bodyguard because I am an adult!! So is your DD almost an adult and she needs to get out and enjoy the bluebells!!

TerryWogansWilly Fri 26-Apr-19 07:38:24

My children have walked alone through woods, fields, over stiles, up fells etc since they were about twelve. Much safer than hanging around in gangs in parks and on street corners.

These are of course the ONLY two options.

Lovemusic33 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:38:40

She’s 16, it’s not really going to make any difference if she’s 16 or 35, there a risk to everything. I walk a lot on my own, often in secluded areas, I’ve never even considered getting jumped on 😐

TerryWogansWilly Fri 26-Apr-19 07:39:51

Most rapes and murders are perpetrated by people the victims know. FACT!!


Yes, we know. That's down to opportunity though. It doesn't mean nothing bad ever happens with strangers. hmm

PurpleWithRed Fri 26-Apr-19 07:40:54

@Haggisfish really useful reference! will be building this in to some training I'm doing soon Thanks smile

OP: another vote here for it's natural to worry but you are worrying unnecessarily. I still worry every time DS gets behind the wheel of his car and he's 29, been driving since he was 18, and commutes to work every day.

Cbatothinkofaname Fri 26-Apr-19 07:41:26

“I’m afraid we live in dark times”

One of the most depressing things I’ve read on MN in a long time. No, we don’t. Statistically there is no greater chance of anything happening than there would have been 10, 20, 50 years ago. It’s just scaremongering to make comments like this.

If anything, I would say things are ‘better’ nowadays from the point of view that she can carry a mobile phone so can be in contact with people quickly. I think there’s also much more awareness and people are open to sensible discussion now- eg the idea of varying the time and route is just a sensible practical measure which will reduce any (already minuscule) risk without impacting on her enjoyment of the activity.

Growing up in the 1970s there was far less discussion about these sorts of things... they tended to be shrouded in secrecy. I remember when I was about 9/10 and walked home from school a mile or so, my mum giving a muttered ‘hmm maybe best to come straight home and not hang around near the wood’. Far more enlightened to have a sensible talk about activities without putting the fear of god into her or without being so ‘veiled’ (as my mum was) that she won’t have a clue what you’re on about!

But seriously it’s so depressing to read some of these comments which imply that women can’t go anywhere alone

TerryWogansWilly Fri 26-Apr-19 07:41:53

She’s 16, it’s not really going to make any difference if she’s 16 or 35, there a risk to everything. I walk a lot on my own, often in secluded areas, I’ve never even considered getting jumped on

I think there is a huge difference between 16 and 35 in your sense of danger perception I think. By 35 you mostly don't have the "I'm invincible" mindset either.

SinkGirl Fri 26-Apr-19 07:45:47

She’s 16, it’s not really going to make any difference if she’s 16 or 35, there a risk to everything. I walk a lot on my own, often in secluded areas, I’ve never even considered getting jumped on 😐

Really? Never even considered it?

Have you never been followed by a man you don’t know, had men shout stuff at you in the street, etc? I’ve been “jumped on” (not by a rapist, by a violent mugger on one occasion when I wasn’t much older than OPs DD, and a group of teenage girls who beat me until I ended up in the hospital). I can’t even fathom “not considering it”.

Pardonwhat Fri 26-Apr-19 07:46:18

Perhaps she’d be safer never leaving her bedroom?
I don’t think at 16 it’s really your decision to make on where she can go for a stroll - she can drive a car in a few months.
I take my dog to an isolated woods very often alone. Probably about 0.5 miles or more from the nearest house. Never has it crossed my mind that it’s unsafe. I’d say actually it’s quite the opposite.
How depressing and what a sad way to want your daughter to lead her life.

Reddedder Fri 26-Apr-19 07:47:31

I walk through woods alone all the time. I’d hate to live with this fear all the time.

NicoAndTheNiners Fri 26-Apr-19 07:47:42

Years ago when I was doing a criminology degree they taught us that fear of crime is more of an issue than crime itself. And I think this is true.

Yes there's a small chance of something happening but I agree with others that you can't live your life with that sort of fear.

I happily walk in woods by myself now, I go up mountains into deserted places where I could possibly meet a lone male hiker who turns out to be a rapist or murderer. But the chances are so small that I'm not going to let it stop me doing stuff.

I grew up in the country and roamed the fields and woods by myself from primary school age. My dd is 18yo and if she wanted to go and walk in woods on her own I'd let her. After giving her advice about headphones out, listen to your instincts, if someone seems dodgy don't worry about being rude, get away if you feel you need to.

Nottheduchess Fri 26-Apr-19 07:48:31

I think you are going to have to let her, just speak to her about staying safe. Letting someone know when she’s going and when she’s expected back, not to wear earphones so she is aware what’s going on around her, perhaps sending a text update? My DD has just started going out by herself (she’s nearly 11) and friends. She tells me every time she moves places and I also have find iPhone if I want to double check. I do worry but I know I can’t keep her wrapped in cotton wool. Exams can be stressful and a bluebell wood walk may help. She may realise she doesn’t like it as much on her own and only go the once.

NicoAndTheNiners Fri 26-Apr-19 07:49:25

And I do think a rapist is more likely to hang around a town late at night rather than deserted woods. I mean they could be in the woods for weeks before finding a lone female. It doesn't seem the most logical place to look for victims if it's that deserted.

Pardonwhat Fri 26-Apr-19 07:51:21


Why are you so heavily invested in replying to every comment screaming about how wrong everyone is? hmm

Cath2907 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:54:48

I’ve been walking alone in woods and countryside all my life. These days I take my 8yr old with me (or sometimes my 5yr old nephew). The worst I’ve known happen was when my mum broke her leg falling whilst walking. A mobile is a good idea, crazy paranoid fear is not!

Blackandpurple Fri 26-Apr-19 07:54:55

I live rurally and if I thought something would happen to me every time I go out id be a recluse. I walk through quarties alone daily, and so does 17 yr old on daily walks.
Just let her go, there are greater dangers out there than a walk.

stucknoue Fri 26-Apr-19 07:55:29

I must admit I may be uncomfortable but as we have a protective dog it's a non issue for us, since she was old enough to go to the park without me, dd has taken the dog. (whilst ddog is well trained, being a collie he's super protective of us, he gives a warning growl at night to passing people he considers a threat!)

Blackandpurple Fri 26-Apr-19 07:55:57

Quarries not quarties🙈

Barbie222 Fri 26-Apr-19 07:57:44

If it's an occasional thing that sounds great but if you walk in the same place every day people get to know about it - most attacks are planned by people you know. Could she maybe vary her walk so she is not taking the same route every day? Or could she borrow a friends dog?

TatianaLarina Fri 26-Apr-19 08:00:04

Wouldn’t walk alone in a London wood, but here you get flashers, muggers, care in the community etc.

BejamNostalgia Fri 26-Apr-19 08:00:43


Why are you so heavily invested in replying to every comment screaming about how wrong everyone is? hmm

Because that’s sort of the point of a discussion forum? How rude.

Prisonbreak Fri 26-Apr-19 08:01:36

I see both sides. I’m 31 and I do a 5 mile hike on back country roads every day and my mum (bless her) insists I texts her at regular intervals if she can’t accompany me. I thought this was a bit OTT until I noticed the same car frequently and I suspected he was following me. I reported it and he was checked out and apparently had photos of me in the phone. It seemed he was establishing a timeline of where I’d be and at what time. I no longer think the odd text to my mum is unreasonable. For context I moved out of the family home when I was 18. I’m completely independent but I’ll always be my mothers baby

CalmConfident Fri 26-Apr-19 08:03:15

I did GCSE revision in the woods, all day, alone with only my notes and a packed lunch. It was calming and peaceful. I am now 45.

I think it is a great recognition of her self awareness and mental health that this is her plan. Enjoy it, vary time slightly, no headphones. Do not live in fear

Flaverings Fri 26-Apr-19 08:07:04

It’s very sad but it really isn’t safe for women on their own to walk anywhere that is deserted, be it an alley way at night or a bluebell wood in the morning.

What nonsense. Firstly millions of people walk places on their own in the UK everyday, safely. Secondly, men are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime in the outdoors.

Has it crossed anyone else’s mind that a place where “there are rarely other people” is an ideal spot for someone with ill intent to plan something after observing that a lone young woman is walking in the woods every morning?

This is ridiculous too. A man with ill intent is not going to be loitering around a bluebell wood for years waiting for a 16 year old to start walking their each morning. If it's near a town and accessible to a 16 year old there's likely to be a community of very regular dog walkers who know exactly who is in, and out of, the norm.

I’m afraid we live in dark times

Relatively we live in one of the safest times unknown to humankind.

Buddytheelf85 Fri 26-Apr-19 08:08:12

Risk assessment is part of being human - especially being a female human. We do it all the time. Unfortunately the media massively affects our ability to risk assess effectively.

We can’t live our lives on the ‘it has happened’ basis. Yes, terrible things have happened to women walking alone in rural areas. But if you applied ‘it does happen’ to your life as a whole, you’d never do anything. You’d never get in a car, taxi, plane or train. You’d never leave your house. But equally you wouldn’t stay in your house alone, because terrible things have happened to women at home alone. And you wouldn’t stay at home with a male relative or friend or boyfriend because terrible things have happened to women who’ve done that.

Thecabbageassasin Fri 26-Apr-19 08:15:07

I think if I was a potential rapist/ murderer I would be hanging out where there was a greater chance of encountering vulnerable women and that wouldn’t be a quiet wood.
There are far more riskier ‘ safe ‘ activities than a quiet stroll through woodland.

Fresta Fri 26-Apr-19 08:18:06

A mobile phone won't protect her in a wood.

The risk is small, but it's a risk. That's not to say that the risk isn't worth taking, only you and she can decide.

I would see if you can find a largish dog that needs walking every morning. It might not protect her in the actual event of someone attacking her, but it can act as a deterrent to potential attackers.

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