Stage 11 National Forest Way: Rangemore & Yoxall
The National Forest Way takes walkers on a 75-mile journey through a transforming landscape.
This 7½-mile stage of the Way takes you through Needwood Forest, a former hunting forest from the 13th century. This well-wooded landscape is threaded by a network of wide straight roads, which are former woodland rides.
It is a sparsely populated area, but the local traditional settlements are characterised by distinctive timber framed houses and there are a number of large estates in the area.
Points of Interest
Yoxall is an attractive Needwood village situated on the River Swarbourn. The main street features several timber framed buildings dating from the 14th century and a number of fine 18th century farmhouses in red brick.
This woodland is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster and is a valuable nature conservation site. Coniferous planting is being replaced by native broadleaf trees and the wood is home to bluebell, wood anemone, wild garlic and wood spurge.
Byrkley Park estate was originally part of Needwood, at a time when wolf, wild boar and fallow deer roamed the forest. The Lodge was eventually demolished in 1953. The magnificent grounds are now home to St. George's Park National Football Centre, opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in October 2012.
Rangemore is located within the ancient Needwood Forest. Rangemore Hall on the outskirts of the village has historical connections to Burton upon Trent's famous Bass brewing dynasty and has hosted royal visitors. Today the Hall has been converted into private residential apartments.