By Daniel Neilson
The National Forest Walking Festival is returning for its fifth year with more than 80 varied strolls. Walkers can discover rolling English countryside dissected by meandering rivers and dotted with picturesque historic villages.
At its heart is The National Forest, Britain’s boldest environmental project, where eight million trees have been planted over 200 square miles across South Derbyshire, East Staffordshire and North West Leicestershire.
From a gentle stroll, events for the whole family, walks suitable for wheelchair users, to longer more strenuous rambles for keen walkers, the packed programme has something for everyone between May 19 and 31.
There are walks for all ages, interests or abilities, led by local experts keen to pass on their knowledge about the area’s rich history, flora and fauna, geology and myths. Opportunities also exist to try something different, such as Nordic Walking.
Exciting additions include the first ever Night Walk and a photography stroll offering handy hints and tips to capture the stunning scenery and enter a special competition sponsored by The National Trust.
Participants can also:
Cllr Bob Wheeler, Leader of South Derbyshire District Council, said: “The National Forest Walking Festival attracts people from all over the country and we are excited to be offering such an diverse line up of activities.
“The Walking Festival is a great opportunity for residents and visitors to discover the vast beauty of our picturesque area and learn about our local history and heritage. Many of the events are free and an excellent way to enjoy the great outdoors.”
Anyone looking to book a short break or longer holiday can request a Visitor Guide for details of the area’s friendly pubs, bed and breakfasts, timber lodges, campsites, hotels and youth hostels.
For more information please visit www.thenationalforestwalkingfestival.org.uk or contact Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre on 01283 222848.