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Time to Enjoy the Dawn Chorus in The National Forest

Wednesday, 14th March 2007

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

The dawn chorus occurs because as winter retreats, male songbirds sing to attract potential females, protect their territory and to 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 6 May 2007. Originally conceived by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and Black Country, International Dawn Chorus Day, 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 website

Rosliston Forestry Centre will be hosting a Dawn Chorus Walk on Saturday May 5 2007 from 5 am-7:30 am. Visitors will experience the dawn breaking over the site, find out which birds are out and about and learn to pick out their individual songs with the help of a local expert. The cost of the event is £5 per person and includes a hot drink and snack in Millijah’s Restaurant on site at 7am. Warm clothing and sturdy footwear is needed on the walk and people are advised to book by contacting the Environmental Education Project at Rosliston Forestry Centre on 01283 535 039.

There will also be a Dawn Chorus Walk in the beautiful grounds of Calke Abbey on Saturday 12 May and Sunday 13 May. Meeting at 4.30 am, visitors who have got up with the lark will hear a choir of songbirds on their walk with the Head Warden, enjoying a well earned, full cooked breakfast afterwards. The cost is £12 per person and booking is essential by calling 01332 863 822, emailing or logging on to the website,

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 England’s most ambitious environmental project – to create a new Forest for the nation. Already 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.

So, to help encourage people to get out and about in the woods to enjoy the dawn chorus, the National Forest Company has produced a pack of walks from three to 22 miles through ancient Forest and the new woodlands that have been created. This loose leafed pack, highlighting historic points of interest, is contained in a durable plastic binder and is available for just £5 from either the NFC or from Tourist Information Centres throughout the Forest.

The National Forest contains a wealth of things to do and see throughout the whole year. For more information on attractions, activities, events and places to stay in and around The National Forest, the 2007 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: