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More than 90 walks as part of annual Festival just around the corner

Archaeology walk at Calke Abbey Archaeology walk at Calke Abbey

The countdown is on to the start of The National Forest Walking Festival 2018 – with more than 90 walks catering for every age, taste and ability waiting to be discovered.

They range from gentle strolls to rambles and others suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and families as people are invited to take in all that the National Forest – one of the country’s most prized tourism assets – has to offer.

Kicking off the event is the ‘Archille Wood and Farm Walk’ at Hill Farm in Packington, Leicestershire on Saturday, May 19. Walkers can enjoy the sights of roaming Canadian bison, red deer, alpacas and more.

After that there will be Nordic walking, educational strolls and pushchairs walks to name just a few, as the programme takes in vast swathes of the 200 square miles and eight-and-a-half-million trees of The National Forest across Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire.

The festival runs until May 31 and copies of the programme are available to download at  They can also be picked up from Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre, in West Street, as well as at Rosliston Forestry Centre, Ashby Tourist Information Centre and Leicestershire libraries.

South Derbyshire District Council has helped to fund the festival, along with Leicestershire County Council and the National Forest Company.

Debbie Chesterman, one of the organisers, said: “The National Forest is a stunning local feature and we’re so lucky to have it on our doorstep.

“There’s no better way to discover it than on foot and the festival gives a chance to learn a little more about the wonderful things that the Forest has to offer.

 “We’re confident that there’s something for everyone – there is so much going on.”

The festival programme contains details of each walk, most of which are free to take part in, and advice on what people need to take along. A key featuring information such as whether parking is available, if dogs are allowed and if children are welcome is also included.

Every walk is graded for difficulty and guided walks will be led by an experienced leader. Health walks will be suitable for all ages and those recovering from illness.

More information is available by calling Swadlincote Tourist Information Centre on 01283 222848 or emailing You can also keep up to date on Facebook by searching for ‘The National Forest Walking Festival’.

14 March 2018

South Derbyshire District Council logogram

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