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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

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