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Before the Forest Began - A New Walk Through The National Forest

Thursday, 30th April 2009

Michael and Greg Jones (centre) who devised the new walk, with Sam Lattaway on Beacon Hill

The new 15 mile Charnwood Peaks walk starts from Bradgate Park in Leicestershire and takes in the four peaks that make Charnwood so distinctive: Old John Tower in Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill, Bardon Hill and Billa Barra.  The walk reveals the most stunning views in The National Forest, visits important sites for wildlife and crosses some of the oldest rocks in Britain.

As well as devising this new walk, the National Forest Company (NFC) has updated and improved its information on how to get out and about in the Forest, with 18 different walking routes and details on which sites are particularly suitable for all abilities.  Branston Water Park, Thornton Reservoir, Rosliston Forestry Centre and Sarah’s Wood are just some of the woodlands and attractions with facilities for all abilities.  The series of short, medium and long walks covers the varied landscapes of the Forest including the historic Needwood Forest, the distinctive church architecture that inspired the Spires and Stiles walk and the beautiful Staunton Harold reservoir, a gateway to the rolling Melbourne parklands.

Sam Lattaway, Biodiversity & Access Officer for the NFC, said:  ‘Come and enjoy the Forest on foot.  The National Forest offers gentle walks in a varied landscape and it’s easy to get to. Walking is a great way to see The National Forest and get some exercise at the same time.  It’s healthy, it’s green and, best of all, there’s no admission fee!’

The NFC website has also been revamped, making it the place to visit for walking in The National Forest.  In addition to all the NFC walks, there are also links and information on a wide range of walks offered by other organisations within the Forest.  See

Many of these walks will be featured in the second National Forest Walking Festival, 16-25 May.  The festival provides ten days of walking across the whole of the Forest, and with 42 different guided walks at varying times of day, there’s sure to be something for everyone.  See more at