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National Forest Timber to Showcase Forest Area

Wednesday, 16th May 2007

National Forest Timber to Showcase Forest Area

Timber locally grown in The National Forest will soon be crafted into new visitor information panels, picnic benches, shelters, posts, seating and other items as part of a major project to showcase the Forest to visitors.

The National Forest’s Visitor Infrastructure Project, funded by East Midlands Tourism (EMT) through its Public Realm Challenge Fund, will encourage visitors get out and explore The National Forest through innovative information points across the Forest. These sites will have new shelters, panels, benches, listening posts, touch screen kiosks as well as visitor information in accommodation venues to raise the profile of the Forest and highlight the wealth of things to see and do in the area.

The wood used in the project will be locally grown English Oak from the Staunton Harold and Calke Estates, processed in a local sawmill and transformed into the innovative information points by award winning exhibit designers, Haley Sharpe Design Ltd and the Leicester based firm Antomic Woodworking.

Managing woodlands is an essential part of forestry, which involves planting, thinning (periodically removing weaker trees to ensure the healthier trees continue to thrive), felling and replanting trees in a constantly renewed, sustainable cycle. The result is a healthy and diverse woodland that can be enjoyed by present and future generations. Already more than seven million trees have been planted in The National Forest and these new woodlands will be nurtured and managed in order to be prosperous Forests for the future.

Visitors can find out more about forestry - from the seed to the sawmill - at The National Forest Wood Fair on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August 2007.

As part of the Visitor Infrastructure Project, new facilities will be created at Conkers Discovery Centre, Beacon Hill Country Park, Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts, Sence Valley Forest Park, Snibston Discovery Park, Foremark, Staunton Harold and Thornton Reservoirs, Ashby de la Zouch Tourist Information Centre, Twycross Zoo, Rosliston Forestry Centre and the National Forest Youth Hostel. In addition to these attractions, information points will be installed within key laybys on access routes into the Forest and the service areas MOTO Donington Park (A42/M1) and Welcome Break Leicester Forest East (M1).

With EMT’s support, the National Forest Company is working with the tourism businesses, Haley Sharpe Design Ltd and Antomic Woodworking, to install the innovative information points for visitors. These will place each location firmly in the Forest and highlight other attractions available to visitors while they are here.

The work across all sites is due to be completed by March 2008. In the meantime, visitors can find more information on the huge choice of things to do and see in the Forest or places to stay for a brilliant weekend break by contacting the National Forest Company on 01283 551211 or see the Visit & Explore section.