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The National Forest Horse Riding Guide Front Cover
Ministerial Carriage Tour Of The National Forest

Minister for Nature Conservation, Ben Bradshaw took to a horse and carriage recently to view one of the new woodland sites in The National Forest. Provision for equestrian activities is a high priority in the creation of the Forest, which spans 200 square miles of the counties of Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

On his first visit since taking on Ministerial responsibility for the Forest within its sponsoring Department, Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), Mr Bradshaw was impressed by the massive transformation that had taken place within the short lifetime of the Forest.

He said: "Defra's aim is sustainability and the National Forest Company is doing well to help us achieve this aim. It is important that we continue to create and enhance areas such as this for recreational needs, to increase public access, and people's participation in the new woodland."

The National Forest Company's horse riding guide (now in its third edition) lists 42 sites where you can ride through new and established woodland, including cross-country courses, carriage driving routes and details of links with existing bridleways and parking facilities. For your copy of the guide call 01283 551211.

From left, Andrew Kirkland, landowner; Geoff Kirby, Atherstone Riding Club;
Viv Astling, Chairman, National Forest Company and Ben Bradshaw, Minister
for Nature Conservation.

The National Forest area covers 200 square miles of the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Its objective is to increase woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial six per cent to about a third. No multi-purpose forest on this scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years. To date the proportion of woodland cover for the Forest has already more than doubled to over 14 per cent. The National Forest Company was given the job of overseeing the creation of the Forest
in 1995.

Year by year, The National Forest has been steadily turning what was once one of the least wooded areas of England into a multi-purpose, sustainable forest. Already five million trees have been planted. The National Forest provides environmental and economic benefits, including landscape enhancement, creation of new wildlife habitats and major new access and leisure opportunities. It is an excellent example of sustainable development - with environmental improvement providing a stimulus to economic regeneration.

From left, Andrew Kirkland, landowner; Geoff Kirby, Atherstone Riding Club
and Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Nature Conservation.


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