A Walk in the Woods Week 27 October – 4 November 2012
This autumn, the Ramblers are holding a festival to celebrate British woodland and encourage families to enjoy the simple pleasure of a walk in the woods. A Walks in the Woods Week runs from 27 October – 4 November, with free led walks taking place across Great Britain, it’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the colours and wildlife of local woodland in the crisp autumnal air – and keep the whole family active this half term.

Walks are free, fun and open to anyone and everyone, from children to grandparents. Walks will take place all around the country during A Walk in the Woods Week 2012, to celebrate these wonderful habitats and support the Ramblers campaign to increase access to all woodland. Chosen and led by experienced Ramblers volunteers, the walks will showcase British woodlands at their autumn best. Many walks will be short and family-friendly, although there’ll be plenty of longer rambles for the seasoned hiker.

We all came close to losing access to England’s forests when government proposed to sell off public woodland last year. But thanks to passionate campaigning by the Ramblers – which included local campaigns and woodland rallies with hundreds of people walking in their local woods in support of public access for Walk in the Woods Week last year; and sending saplings of support to the Forestry Panel – our public forests are saved for future generations to enjoy. The Independent Forestry Panel has produced their final report to Government, saying the Public Forest Estate should remain and that access to all woodland should be “the norm”. But there are still large areas of woodland that are not open to the public and the baton has now been firmly handed to Government to turn these aspirations into reality.

To celebrate the success so far in England and show the government just how important a simple walk in the woods is, Ramblers groups will be leading woodland walks of various lengths and invite you and your family to join. You could walk through the more remote parts of Wyre Forest and part of the Severn Valley Way with the Telford & East Shropshire Ramblers; stroll though Battle Great Wood in Marley Lane with Rother Ramblers, enjoy woods galore with the Bolton Ramblers or the shaded paths of Epping Forest with the Sutton/Wandle Valley Ramblers. These are just a few walks forming part of Walk in the Woods Week, with many other woodland walks to choose from.

Simon Barnett, Director of Walking Programmes and Promotions at the Ramblers said: “A walk in the woods is one of life’s simple pleasures and autumn is one of the best seasons to enjoy the shaded paths of your favourite local wood. Help instil a love for local woodlands in younger generations and enjoy the benefits of walking with friends and family.

Simon Barnett continues: “Whether you choose one of the many woodland walks being put on by Ramblers groups, or take your friends or family out on a woodland stroll in your local area, it’ll be the perfect time to enjoy the calm, refreshing effects of our forests.”

Show appreciation for your favourite woodland walk by getting your whole family out amidst the autumn hues, find out more at www.ramblers.org.uk/info/events/festivals/woodlandwalks.