5 reasons to get back to basics in the forest 

For those lucky enough to have experienced the joys of the forest growing up, there’s a deep pull of memories that keep you coming back to them.  

We believe forests are for everyone and, no matter your age, it’s never too late to discover and enjoy them. The nation's forests are for those looking for fun and excitement, but also for those looking for peace and quiet. New experiences lie behind each tree you pass, and you'll find simple pleasures to come back to again, season after season.

We went on a walk in the woods with Charlie Dimmock to hear why she chooses to spend time in the forest. Charlie grew up on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire, where she later returned to live. 

They’re near to you

The nation’s forests are closer than you might think with nearly 40% of England's population living within just 15 minutes' drive of a Forestry England location. With over 1,500 forests we look after the largest outdoor recreation landholding in the country for your enjoyment. As well as places to enjoy, they're habitats for wildlife, sites of forgotten heritage, and a source of sustainable timber for our homes and communities.

Sunlight through trees
Kids playing on log

Places to enjoy family time and socialise

From volunteering opportunities, to play areas for the children, there’s everything in between for every member of the family to find something they love. Not only that, the forest is a great place to meet new friends. Did you know research shows that people are more likely to be more social with strangers in woodland activities than they might do through everyday life?

Good for your mental health

There’s unlimited ways that people experience the wellbeing benefits of time spent in the forest, all supported by science. The sense of loss of time, the running of the imagination, and childlike joy show the power of the forest on people's mindset. The feeling of shelter, the stimulation of the senses, and the changing experiences in each season make getting out in the forest, even on a rainy day, always feel worth it.

Wild garlic in spring
Cycling couple

Good for your physical health

You don’t have to have high ambitions to reap the joy of being active in the forest. A short walk can often reveal a beautiful view, or a little wander off the path, the most amazing wildlife. With 3,000km of dedicated recreation trails across the nation's forests, there’s no shortage of options for all abilities to seek out the terrain to suit your needs.   

Easy to plan your visit

A small bit of planning goes a long way. Our website will give you information about car parking, trails, what to wear, and other facilities and accessibility provision at each forest location. Our main visitor centres typically have a café for that lovely hot drink to round off the forest experience. Every pound spent at the forest supports work to protect the nation’s forests for future generations, and the work of forests in tackling the nature and climate crises.  

Easy pacers walkers

We are #ForForests

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With hundreds of walking trails for you to explore, from spectacular mountain hikes and sheltered pinewood trails to quiet streamside paths and short play trails, you're never far from a great walk. 

Our walks are for all ages and abilities, for everyone to enjoy, so grab your walking boots and head out into the forest today.

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07 September 2020
When you think about sport, exercise and physical activity what springs to mind? Gyms, Lycra, sweating, red faces, hard work, personal bests…? It can seem a very daunting prospect. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a more mindful way to get active? Well we might just have the answer. To celebrate #MindfulMonday, part of the Great British Week of Sport, we’ve teamed up with Mind, the mental health charity, to inspire you to find some mindful movement amongst the trees.