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The National Forest Hits the Trail

Thursday, 26th November 2009

Reuben Brown joins the team at the National Forest Company (NFC), having previously worked for the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire County Council.

“I’m excited to be part of the unique National Forest project”, said Reuben. “There’s such a variety of landscapes and places within the Forest that a new long distance trail seems the ideal way to link them all together.” Over the next year, Reuben will be working with people across the Forest to map out the detail of the new National Forest Trail.  Stretching from Charnwood in the east to Needwood in the west, the trail will take in the sights, sounds and experiences that The National Forest has to offer.   

Reuben continued:  ‘A good long distance trail isn’t just a pretty walk, it links with facilities like cafes and toilets, it’s convenient to get to, and it’s suitable for shorter walks so people can complete it in sections or use it for relaxed rambles. We’re designing the National Forest Trail to do all of this, but it will also tell the story of the Forest, showcasing the best of its varied and changing landscapes, and revealing some of its secret places.’

Sam Lattaway, Biodiversity & Access Officer for the NFC, said:  ‘The development of such a huge project requires careful planning and Reuben will be working to make sure that the Trail is not only a great walking route, but also provides benefits to local people and businesses.  A study undertaken in 2008 identified that a new trail could bring in 25,000 new visitors and £650,000 of new income every year to the Forest, so it is really important that we get it right.

‘By the end of 2010, we will have a route designed and will know how much it will cost to put it in place.  The next challenge will be to raise the funds and then start work on creating this exciting new contribution to The National Forest.’

Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive for the NFC, said:  ‘The long distance trail will be something for the long term future of The National Forest – it will effectively mark the coming of age of this special ‘outdoor venue’ for walking and recreation, something we couldn’t envisage even a few years ago. It is a very exciting development.’