Exploring the Heart of England Forest with a gentle spring stroll is a pleasure at any time, and every visit will turn up a new discovery. To really uncover some of its hidden secrets, there’s no better companion than one of the team that spends every day unearthing new delights.
With that in mind, a new series of guided monthly walks, each led by a member of the Heart of England Forest team and entitled ‘Introducing….’, has been launched. The first walk took place in early April and invited participants to discover the Dorsington Wood walk. Not only offering the chance to hear the inside story of the newly planted sections of trees, but also to gain insights into the mature and ancient woodland, the series aims to both broaden the understanding of walkers who regularly hit the trails and inspire new visitors, equipping our supporters with the confidence to use the trails and explore more widely in the Forest
New horizons, new friends
While the walks will essentially be following the Forest’s established waymarked routes, the joy of being led by a knowledgeable guide means that, if there’s a chance to see something rarely spotted and it means going slightly off the beaten track, walkers will be led to new and intriguing areas that might otherwise remain undiscovered.
The Heart of England Forest’s Community Engagement Manager, Toby Fisher, will himself be guiding many of the walks. Toby says, “these gentle paced midweek strolls will not only help introduce people to the Heart of England Forest, the charity’s vision and our permissive footpath network, but also encourage regular visitors to explore different parts of the Forest as a group.”
It is also hoped that visitors who may normally spend time walking alone in the Forest will come along and meet new and like-minded enthusiasts. As Toby explains, “With the walks starting at 10.30am on different days of the week we hope they will also help people meet new friends and appeal to those who may, on occasion, like to walk with others rather than alone.”
The next walk in the ‘Introducing…’ series is planned for Friday, May 3rd (10.30am-12pm) and will take in Coxmere Wood at Braggington. An easy 2.5 mile walk around this flat trail will wind its way through the young 15-year-old wood, with a slightly extended route to seek out new sights and sounds.
Next up is a walk through Giddings Wood near Long Marston on June 4th (10.30am-2pm). A chance to explore some of the favourite areas of our founder, Felix Dennis, the walk will take in Giddings Wood itself along with some of the meadows and other woodland that immediately surround it. The July walk (3rd July 10.3am-2pm) takes in Haydon Way Wood at Spernal Lane, near Studley, featuring newly created woodland with hazel coppice and a wild flower meadow bursting with colour. Thursday August 1st (10.30am-12pm) sees the College Wood Walk, near Studley, setting out, with walkers enjoying views of Spernal Park and Studley Castle before passing through a plantation of seven-year-old trees on this easy stroll.
These walks really will offer the chance to see ‘new light through old windows’ and learn more about the work of the Heart of England Forest charity – with the added possibility of peeking into some of the woodland’s hidden corners that many never see!
Don’t miss this chance to get ‘the inside track’ in the company of an expert on some of the trails, bask in the forest environment to ensure a healthy mind and body and meet new Forest friends. Registration is required so sign up today at heartofenglandforest.com/events/