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Hear the World's Oldest Tweets with the Dawn Chorus in The National Forest

Tuesday, 26th April 2011

Grasshopper Warbler - Ron Marshall

With the weather getting warmer, now is the best time to hear the spectacularly loud dawn chorus in The National Forest.

This annual phenomenon occurs as winter retreats and the male songbirds sing to attract potential mates, protect their territory and warn off other males. However, as soon as it is light enough to look for food, the dawn chorus comes to a close which is why you have to be an ‘early bird’ to hear it.

International Dawn Chorus Day falls on Sunday 1 May 2011.  Originally conceived by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and Black Country, it is an annual celebration of the world’s oldest wake-up call – the dawn chorus – and the beauty of bird song.

A number of guided walks take place throughout the country on, and around, International Dawn Chorus Day.  More information on these events can be found on the

Hear the choir of songbirds on a Dawn Chorus Walk in the beautiful grounds of Calke Abbey on Saturday 7 May and Sunday 8 May from 4:30am. Led by Calke’s Head Warden, the walk will be followed by a well-earned, full cooked breakfast. Booking is essential by calling 01332 863822,  or logging on to the website, 

Rosliston Forestry Centre will be hosting its Dawn Chorus Walk on Saturday 30 April. Early bird visitors will meet at 5am to experience dawn breaking over the centre, discover which birds are out and about and learn to pick out individual bird songs with the help of an expert.  The cost is £7 per person, which includes a hot drink and snack in the cafe at 7am. Booking is essential, by calling the Environmental Education Office on 01283 535039.

Two weeks later visitors can return to Rosliston to experience birdsong at the end of the day with the Dusk Chorus Walk on Saturday 14 May from 8pm.  Walking around the woodland, Dave Scattergood will highlight the different birds and explain the reasons for their final songs of the day!  The cost is £2.50 per person.

Warm clothing and sturdy footwear is recommended on all of the walks.

But for those who want to make up their own dawn chorus walk The National Forest offers more than 700 miles of paths to explore in over 400 woodlands.  The National Forest spans more than 200 square miles across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and is one of England’s most ambitious environmental projects – to create a new Forest for the nation.  Already over seven million trees have been planted across the gently undulating landscape, which is perfect for walking, cycling and horse-riding.  And through the creation of new habitats, The National Forest is an ideal location for bird and wildlife watching.

For more information on attractions, activities, events and places to stay in and around The National Forest, the 2011 visitor guides to the Forest and Beyond are bursting with great ideas.  These are available from Tourist Information Centres or from the National Forest Company on tel: 01283 551211, email: