Founder's Walk - The Heart of England Forest

Founder's Walk


Get walking in the Heart of England Forest

Come and explore the Heart of England Forest by following our Founder’s Walk trail, starting at Barton near Dorsington. This easy-to-follow walk will take you through the beautiful beginnings of your new native broadleaf forest – you’re bound to fall in love with it just like we have.


To complete this walk will also need to download the RIVERSIDE TRAIL guide.

A longer stroll through the growing forest, taking in newly planted saplings, more mature woodland and meandering brooks.

Distance: 4 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Start / finish: Dorothy’s Wood car park.
Nearest postcode: B50 4NP
Terrain: Clearly marked woodland trails that can become muddy!

  1. Follow the Riverside Trail to step 6.
  2. Carry on along the brook to just before the fallen willow tree, then turn right into the younger broadleaf tree planting.
  3. Follow the winding path until you emerge into an open glade of newly planted woodland. Cross the glade diagonally and enter Robert’s Wood. Take a right onto the track, walk uphill, take a left down past a bench, then bear right.
  4. Keep straight on at the crossroads, then left at the woodland edge. Go through the gate on your right, over the bridge and cross the road. Head through the gate on the right into Colletts Wood. Follow the path along the brook.
  5. Continue on the winding footpath, with the brook on your right. You’ll reach Colletts Pond with its wild-flower meadow. Just past the pond, turn left then right through the hedge into a young wooded area.
  6. At the hedge turn left for 50m, then right and out of the wood following the post and rail fence down the field to the road. Cross the road into the woodland on the other side and turn right along the brook for about 80m to a wooden bridge over the brook. Continue along the brook towards Dorsington Wood.
  7. Drop down left into Dorsington Wood along the central path. Carry on down through the woodland on the wide ride. At the bottom, take the right fork and go over the footbridge. Then take a left along Willow Walk and the stream.
  8. Head through the gate at the end on to the road, turn left across the bridge, then turn right at the Dorsington sign. Head through another gate and onto the path. Follow this path over a footbridge and enter Tall Trees. Cross back over the brook and onto a path surrounded by mature poplar trees.
  9. At the next gate, turn right over the bridge following the signs ‘Path to Crooked Barn Cottage’. Follow this path and, at the gate, turn left back over the brook and take a right to follow the brook, with it on your right.
  10. Cross over a bridge into Robert’s Wood, taking the path on your right following the brook. This leads back to the fallen willow and the footbridge into Roman Field Wood.
  11. Pick up directions from step 7 of the Riverside Trail.

Arboretum: Is found alongside the lower(east) side of Dorsington Wood where there is no onsite or nearby parking. It is accessible by foot and is found just off the Founder’s waymarked trail. Its location in relation to the trail is shown on the map found on the car park information board.


FOUNDER’S MEMORIAL –  In Dorsington Wood you’ll find the Founder’s Memorial – celebrating the life of the forest founder Felix Dennis – inscribed with his poetry and vision for the forest.

TREE SPOT: BLACK POPLAR – Often found near river banks or streams, black poplars can grow to 30 metres and can live for 200 years. It’s a rare and declining species across the UK.

The Heart of England Forest