National Forest, Derbyshire | Leicestershire | Staffordshire

National Forest
The National Forest is a 200 square mile area of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Visitors to the park may wonder where all the trees are, as the area is not heavily wooded. This is because the National Forest is a forest in the making.

The site of National Forest has been established and runs from the outskirts of Leicester in the east to Burton upon Trent and beyond in the west. It links the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood. A program of tree planting has been underway since 1990. Over seven million trees have already been planted, with the intention of creating a large area of woodland with a split of 60% broadleaf and 40% conifer trees. The program of planting includes such species such as the English oak, ash, poplar, corsican and scots pine. The plan is to plant a further 20 million trees over the next 20 or 30 years to create an area of woodland intermingled with farms, villages and towns.

Various attractions and activity centres have already sprung up in the Forest, all part of the plan to create a haven for wildlife and tourism in the area. There are already over 700 miles of tracks and trails established in the National Forest for walking, cycling and horse riding.

The National Forest Maize Maze has over two and a half miles of pathways, as well as bridges and towers. The maze is made from corn plants, or maize, and is situated near to Burton-on-Trent. At the heart of the forest lies the award-winning Conkers , a family visitor attraction dedicated to the natural world.

The Rosliston Forestry Centre is young woodland site with meadows, ponds, fishing lake and play areas. A range of pastimes and activities are on offer, many of them free of charge!

Those seeking man made attractions might visit Calke Abbey . This is a gently declining baroque mansion, built in 1704 and set in an historical landscaped park. It is little restored and most of the interiors are essentially unchanged since the 1880s. The house contains a spectacular natural history collection, as well as a magnificent 18th century state bed. The abbey is set in open parkland with a beautiful walled garden. There's also a collection of garden buildings, including an orangery and unusual Auricula Theatre.

Snibston Discovery Park is on the site of a former colliery. Here there is the opportunity to try your hand at numerous fascinating indoor and outdoor science experiments.

More British Natural features?

Other Derbyshire Naturals

River Trent
The Pennines
Pooles Cavern
Blue John Cavern
Derbyshire Dales
Carsington Water
Hope Valley
Erewash Valley
High Peak

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Canterbury Monks Observe Massive Meteor Event - 1178, Battle of Sevenoaks - 1450, 1st British Life Insurance Policy - 1583, Battle of Chalgrove Field - 1643, Johnson Contracts to Produce His Dictionary - 1746, Battle of Waterloo - 1815, Redcoats Drop Breeches - 1823, Staines Air Disaster - 1972, Battle of Orgreave - 1984
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