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Health in the Forest

People walking past trail signs

There is compelling evidence of the benefit of moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking and cycling. Those who participate regularly enjoy considerably longer life expectancy and improved mental health; for example, regular walking has been shown to relieve stress and half the risk of developing heart disease. Research suggests that views of trees and green fields can reduce the need for medication and that seeing plants can be calming and relaxing.

Since its inception, over 300km of new trails have been created and over eight million trees planted within The National Forest, providing plenty of opportunities for a huge variety of walks for you to explore and help keep you healthy! The National Forest could be seen as a ‘Therapeutic Landscape’ helping recovery from physical and mental ill health.

Reasons to walk:

  • For health: walking strengthens your heart, your bones and your muscles and it helps to control your weight.
  • For wealth: walking is free, doesn’t require any special equipment and can enrich your life in many ways.
  • For happiness: walking improves your mood and helps combat depression.
  • For comfort: going for a walk in your local park or wood and discovering nature can help reduce stress and calm your mind.
  • For joy: walking with friends or join a walking group and discover just how much fun walking can be!

Join one of the many weekly guided walks now being organised across the Forest - everyone is welcome regardless of age or fitness level.

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South Derbyshire District Council


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01283 563 483


Get Active in The Forest coordinates a regular programme of around 40 led walks each month including themed walks.


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East Staffordshire Borough Council


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01283 508191


Sport East Staffs coordinates a programme of weekly Health Walks for anyone who wants to maintain or improve their health.


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Charnwood Borough Council


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01509 634 587


Charnwood Borough Council produces the free What's on in Charnwood - Physical Activity Brochure.


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Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council


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01455 238141


Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council produce a guide to walks and physical activities - What's Active in Hinckley and Bosworth