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Exploring Water, Woodland and Wildlife in The National Forest

Wednesday, 23rd April 2008

Exploring Water, Woodland and Wildlife in The National Forest

Visitors to three Severn Trent reservoirs in The National Forest can now discover more about the stunning waters, the new and ancient woodland and the abundant wildlife in the area.

As part of the National Forest Visitor Infrastructure Project, funded by East Midlands Tourism, Severn Trent Water has worked with the National Forest Company to install new information points at Foremark and Staunton Harold Reservoirs north of Ashby de la Zouch and Thornton Reservoir near Markfield in Leicestershire.

New panels reveal the wildlife that can be seen around these beautiful bodies of water and the conservation work being done to enhance the biodiversity of the area. They contain maps showing the walking links to nearby places of interest. New viewpoints identify landmarks around the reservoirs and audio posts explain more about the facilities available at these three popular stretches of water.

With EMT's support, the National Forest Company has worked with tourism businesses and Leicester-based award winning tourism designers, Haley Sharpe, to install the innovative information points for visitors. These place the location in the Forest and highlight other attractions available to visitors while they are here.

Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company said: "The reservoirs within The National Forest are real jewels in the landscape. We are working with Severn Trent to encourage more people to visit and enjoy them and the surrounding countryside.

"With so much to see and do across The National Forest, we want people to make the most of their visit. So, in partnership with attractions throughout the area, we have installed new facilities that promote the wider area and link attractions within the 200 square mile Forest."

Visitors to Thornton Reservoir can walk or cycle the three mile surfaced trail around the water passing sculptures en route or can hire a boat for a spot of fishing. New and mature woodland provide a rural backdrop to this peaceful lake. The footpaths through these woodlands link to the wider network of paths from which to explore the attractive landscape around the reservoir.

Offering excellent bird watching, scenic picnic spots, sailing and fly fishing, both Foremark and Staunton Harold Reservoirs are great bases from which to set off and explore The National Forest. Paths weave between the two stunning waters across fields of young woodland and through the wonderful ancient parkland of the Calke Abbey Estate.

Karl James, Severn Trent Water ranger, said: "The National Forest is developing into a wonderful landscape that links the reservoirs within the surrounding countryside. The diverse habitats of woodland and water create areas that benefit wildlife and are open for all to enjoy."

As part of the Visitor Infrastructure Project, new facilities have also been created at Beacon Hill Country Park, Conkers, the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts, Sence Valley Forest Park, Snibston Discovery Park, 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 have also been installed in lay-bys on access routes into the Forest and the service areas MOTO Donington Park (A42/M1) and Welcome Break Leicester Forest East (M1).

Supported by East Midlands Tourism