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Impressive offering for walking festival milestone year

27 April 2017

The 10th National Forest Walking Festival is about to get under way – and the 2017 line-up is promising to showcase one of the country’s tourism jewels at its finest.

people walking

This year’s event takes place between 13 and 25 May 2017, featuring more than 90 walks catering for all ages, tastes and abilities.

They range from gentle strolls to strenuous rambles and others suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and families as people are invited to take in all that the forest – which spans 200 square miles and three counties – has to offer.

New for 2017 are a number of walks linked to the ‘Black to Green’ project, which aims to showcase the fascinating industrial heritage of the area and how the former mining landscape is rapidly reverting back to nature.

It all starts with a Nordic walk from Moira Furnace at 9am on Saturday 13 May 2017, before branching out to include teddy walks, buggy strolls, educational rambles and nature trails to name just a few.

South Derbyshire District Council has funded the festival along with Leicestershire County Council and the National Forest Company.

Debbie Chesterman, one of the organisers, said:

“The success of the walking festival has grown year on year as more and more people are keen to discover the wonders of The National Forest.

“There is so much to learn and enjoy and, with more than 90 walks catering for all ages and abilities, its appeal is broad.

“In this milestone year I’d like to thank all of the individuals and organisations who volunteer to plan and lead the walks, without whose time, effort, knowledge and enthusiasm the festival would not be possible.”

The festival programme are available to download now from The National Forest Walking Festival. Copies can also be picked up from Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre, based at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum in West Street, as well as at Rosliston Forestry Centre, Ashby Tourist Information Centre and Leicestershire libraries.

The programmes contain details of each walk, most of which are free to take part in, and advice on what people need to take along.

A useful key highlights walks particularly suitable for children and features information such as whether parking is available, if dogs are allowed and details of facilities along the route.

Every walk is graded for difficulty and guided walks will be led by an experienced leader with local knowledge. Health walks will be suitable for all ages and those recovering from illness, again led by a trained volunteer.

There are a range of places to visit and stay in the area for those wanting to make a break of it this year, from The National Forest Youth Hostel to hotels, farmhouses and forest lodges at Rosliston Forestry Centre.

More information is available by calling Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre tel: 01283 222848 or email: tic@sharpespotterymuseum.org.uk or from The National Forest Walking Festival.

You can also keep up to date by following @SDDC on Twitter.