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Focus on 'Green Tourism' at National Forest & Beyond Visitor Guide Launch

Wednesday, 16th January 2008

Focus on 'Green Tourism' at National Forest & Beyond Visitor Guide Launch

The 2008 National Forest & Beyond Visitor Guide was launched yesterday (Tuesday 15 January) at the new eco-friendly YHA National Forest near Conkers, Leicestershire.

The first copies of the new visitor guides were unveiled and provide ideas for 'Green Getaways' in the Forest as well as information on the new National Forest Walking Festival and the wide variety of attractions, events and accommodation to tempt visitors to the area.

The launch incorporated a number of workshops including one on 'green tourism' to encourage more businesses to 'think green and save money'.

Hosting the event, YHA National Forest has been designed as an environmentally-friendly building. The hostel's green features include renewable wood fuel energy, solar heating, rainwater gathering and natural ventilation. Over 5,000 trees were planted around the site to create a natural setting for this innovative building.

Speaking at the launch, Susan Warren, a Director of the National Forest Company and Chair of the Tourism Working Group said: "Research is showing that the profile of this area is growing and visitor numbers continue to climb. Sustainable Development – by which we mean having a high quality of life now, but not at the expense of our children and grandchildren - is central to the ethos of The National Forest and over the next few years we will be increasing our focus to develop this area as a sustainable destination. There are great opportunities to develop and market sustainable products and services for increasingly environmentally aware customers."

Penny Wilkinson, Tourism & Promotions Officer with the National Forest Company commented: "We really do have a wealth of things to see and do in this area – and year by year this is growing so there is always something new!"

She continued: "The National Forest & Beyond is one of the few places in the country that you can actually learn traditional woodland crafts, try your hand at weaving, textiles or painting, or even hone your survival skills. And this year sees the first ever National Forest Walking Festival to complement the huge number of events happening right across the area."

The Visitor Guides are produced by the National Forest Company in partnership with East Staffordshire Borough Council, North West Leicestershire District Council and South Derbyshire District Council to promote the tourism economy in the Forest and surrounding area.

As well as information on family attractions, places to visit for heritage and history, and suggestions for where to enjoy the woodlands and countryside, the guides also highlight local food of the area, suggestions for a spot of shopping, and a focus on the many interesting activities that people can do such as coracle or basket-making, woodland crafts, survival and bushcraft skills, textile, painting and walking holidays.

To order a copy of the guide, either log on to the website contact us, email enquiries@nationalforest.org or telephone 01283 551 211.