Stage 12 National Forest Way: Yoxall & the National Memorial Arboretum
The National Forest Way takes walkers on a 75-mile journey through a transforming landscape.
On this 5-mile stage, the route is never far from the River Swarbourn. As you walk you will enjoy fine views over the Trent Valley towards Lichfield with its prominent cathedral. You will pass through young woodlands and open river meadows. You will visit the villages of Yoxall and Alrewas and the National Memorial Arboretum, a place of reflection and remembrance.
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.
Swarbourn Meadow is a rich wildlife habitat beside the River Swarbourn with wet woodland, marshy areas and open water. An otter holt has been installed in a quiet area in the hope that they will colonise the area.
Potters Meadow is planted with willow, birch, alder and native black poplar. Wide open spaces provide cover for mammals, while wetland scrapes provide habitat for dragonflies such as the ruddy darter.
The name Alrewas derives from Alder Wash (Swamp) due to the Alder trees that used to grow in and around the River Trent flood plain. The Trent and Mersey canal runs through the village where locks and bridges evoke the atmosphere of the canal's heyday. Cut between 1770 and 1777 it was England's first commercial canal.
The National Memorial Arboretum
The National Memorial Arboretum is a spiritually uplifting place for reflection and remembrance. The site was developed on reclaimed gravel workings and is planted with 50,000 maturing trees, wildflower meadow and riverside walks: a lasting living tribute.