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Barefoot Walking Launches National Forest-Inspired Creative Project

Friday, 28th February 2014

Pupils from four Coalville Schools will be walking barefoot in The National Forest next week to gain inspiration for a music making project.

The young people from Woodstone Community, Whitwick St John the Baptist and All Saints primary schools as well as Castle Rock High School will visit Conkers Outdoor Discovery Centre in The National Forest where they will learn bushcraft skills, visit the exhibition hall and walk barefoot across timber, bark, coal, pebbles, wood and clay.

The project, entitled ‘Our Forest Futures’ is a partnership between Sinfonia Viva, North West Leicestershire District Council, Leicester-shire Schools Music Services (LSMS) and the National Forest Company.

The theme is to encourage young people to think about how The National Forest supports the environment and how living within it may shape their lives – creating employment and leisure opportunities.

The inspiration day will also see the young people starting work with regional orchestra Sinfonia Viva and musicians LSMS to write their own music and songs. The creative work, led by Viva’s award-winning composer Jack Ross, will then continue at a series of workshops at the different schools.

The young people will perform their work alongside two professional musicians from Viva at a mass schools’ sharing  at Conkers on March 24 followed by the public performance at De Montfort Hall on March 25 as part of the LSMS showcase event, when they will be supported by eight Viva musicians.

Viva Education Manager Wenna Stockdale explained: "Conkers Discovery Centre is providing the young people with a range of engaging activities that makes The National Forest an exciting place to be in.

"The launch day is designed to inspire the young people for the creative project and give them a greater insight into career and leisure opportunities in The National Forest.

"Previous education projects in The National Forest, North West Leicestershire and elsewhere in the county have resulted in some truly spectacular work and we are looking forward to seeing the results of their work and imagination both at the mass rehearsal at Conkers and at the public performance later this month."

National Forest Community Liaison Officer Sue Anderson continued: "This year’s project is a wonderful opportunity to work with young people and encourage them to think about how living with The National Forest is likely to change their lives and choices as they grow up.

"They’ll be seeing the Forest through fresh eyes and thinking about opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, learning new skills and considering new futures – whether it be forestry and woodland work or hospitality and tourism.

"This music project will certainly inspire and inform a wider audience of other young people, and all the families and friends who enjoy the final performance. It's a wonderful way to discover and share what The National Forest is all about."

Tickets for De Montfort Hall, 7pm, Tue 25 March cost £8-£10 full price, £5 concessions, Tel:0116 233 3111