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Even More Reason to Walk in the Woods in The National Forest

Tuesday, 18th March 2008

Even More Reason to Walk in the Woods in The National Forest

Walk in the Woods month is just around the corner and there is even more reason to dust off the walking boots and head for the Forest, as the first ever National Forest Walking Festival takes place from 17-26 May.

May is the most spectacular month in terms of Forest flora with the trees wearing their lush coat of fresh new leaves and the annual carpet of bluebells rolled out across the Forest floor.

There are around 40 individual walks taking place in and around The National Forest during the Festival. The guided walks of varying length will reveal fascinating facts on the flora and fauna or the heritage and history of the land.

Many people already enjoy improving their health through walking in the Forest, and the Festival will provide fantastic opportunities for others to take up walking to get fit, or for those currently stepping out to do more through trying longer or new walks.

Amanda Drakeley, Festival Co-ordinator, South Derbyshire District Council, said: "We are delighted to put together this packed programme of walks across the Forest & Beyond area to encourage more people to get out and enjoy countryside. May is the perfect time to get out on a good walk, with longer days and wildflowers starting to blossom."

The National Forest, now more than ten years old, has more than 400 new and ancient woodlands within it. Around 90% of the woodlands have public access, welcoming visitors to wander through the woods, explore and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Penny Wilkinson, Tourism & Promotions Officer, National Forest Company, said: "The National Forest is a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life where people can come to relax, unwind and listen to the breeze rustling through the treetops and the birds singing.

"Although the gently undulating landscape makes it perfect for walking, it is also a fun place to run, ride, cycle or play among the trees and makes an excellent outdoor classroom to learn more about the environment. And through the creation of new habitats, The National Forest is an ideal location for bird and wildlife watching."

Walk in the Woods Month is co-ordinated by environmental charity, The Tree Council, to encourage people to visit woodlands and increase their appreciation of trees. For more details on Walk in the Woods events log on to the Tree Council's website www.treecouncil.org.uk.

The National Forest spans more than 200 square miles across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and is one of the UK’s most ambitious environmental projects – to create a new Forest for the nation. Already over seven million trees have been planted in The National Forest.

Download the leaflets below or log on to the website www.thenationalforestwalkingfestival.org.uk.