The Birthday walk
The 10-mile Birthday Walk was specially prepared in celebration of the first decade, 1995-2005, of the National Forest Company.
With a choice of a number of short loops off the highlighted route, links to other footpaths and a number of nearby shops and pubs, the Birthday Walk is also an ideal outdoor activity for family outings, birthdays and celebrations.
Points of Interest
Sence Valley Forest Park
From 1982 to 1996 this site was part of a huge opencast coal mine called Coalfield North. During this time, 8 million tonnes of coal were extracted from the ground. Following the completion of mining, the site was restored to create a new forest park. Now managed by the Forestry Commission, the park was opened in 1998 and, by 2005, it had developed into one of the jewels of The National Forest. It includes areas of conifers for future income, broadleaf woodland, three lakes linking to the River Sence and wildlife meadows.
Planted in 2004, this woodland covers four separate areas. Large areas of open ground have been left unplanted to protect features of archaeological interest. Wetland scrapes and ponds, bat boxes, management of mature streamside trees and hedging all contribute to the
site’s nature conservation interest.
The Roughs / Church View Wood
This wood was planted in 2000 as a commercial poplar wood with some native black poplar and willows.
This site comprises a mixture of new woodland planting, open ground and existing woodland. The yew woodland was planted by National Forest Company staff to celebrate the Millennium and two former Company chairmen each have an area named after them.
Heather Brickworks Wood
Planted in 2004 by Hanson Building Products Ltd, the wood consists of oak, ash, birch and willow with an area of grassland. Wetland areas, a new hedge and bird and bat boxes further enhance the biodiversity of the site.
This site has been a focus for the local community. Local people put forward their ideas for the design, named the woodland and helped with the planting. An open area of grassland serves as an events area and a community orchard has been planted in one corner.
Planted in 2000, this woodland mixes commercial forestry, multi-user access and heritage features. An 18th Century water ram, which originally irrigated the land, has been restored and reedbeds and wetlands for wildlife are part fed by this system.
This wood was planted in 2000 by the Poplar Tree Company with different varieties of fast growing poplars.
Common Hill Wood
This site was planted in 2004 with mixed broadleaves, widely spaced poplars and conifers. Wildlife conservation and improvement includes the creation of a large wetland area which is fed by an underground stream.
In partnership with Severn Trent Water, Leicestershire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and Leicestershire County Council, the National Forest Company has developed this site as a nature reserve. Open water, reedbeds, scrapes and the realigned river channel provide habitats for birds and dragonflies especially. Two bird hides enable you to stop and rest while you watch the wildlife.