National Forest Way

By | Category: Travel destinations
part of the National Forest Way

part of the National Forest Way

Last weekend, the 75 mile National Forest Way was opened at the intriguingly named, Conkers Waterside.

Situated on the borders of Derbyshire and Leicestershire, the trail takes you through the length of the National Forest from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, through Derbyshire and on to the Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire.

The route is waymarked and has been trialled by walkers so that all the signage is not only in place but takes you through a range of different landscapes. It will take walkers through our new wooded landscapes, through ancient forest, the former industrial heritage, farmland, villages, heathland and hills, meadow rivers and reservoirs  – all framed by woodland.

Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, claims the new National Forest Way is an expression of how far we have come over the last twenty years and the early days of the forest. “Creating habitats for wildlife, working with communities and our local landowners, building businesses that have grown out of the Forest – all this work is part of what we have achieved in the Forest so far,” she says.

In all, the National Forest area covers 200 square miles of the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire.  Its objective is to increase woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial six per cent to about a third. No multi-purpose forest on this scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years. To date the proportion of woodland cover in the Forest has more than trebled to 19.5 per cent.

It opened when walkers went out out on four different routes that all returned along stretches of the National Forest Way followed by a celebratory tea party for volunteer ramblers and individuals who have helped route testing and waymarking. It won’t be the last tea party or picnic that will be held as estimates say that tens of thousands of people will come to enjoy the sights.

And what better time to start than on a Bank Holiday weekend!


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