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Woodland workout scheme launched in South Yorkshire

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Woodland Workout

Forget expensive gym fees to sweat off the Chirstmas pud - rangers have come up with the perfect way to shed the pounds, save the pennies and give Mother Nature a helping hand!

The Forestry Commission is to launch a first ever woodland workout project in 1,200 hectare (3,000 acre) Wharncliffe Wood, near Sheffield, in the New Year to help folk stay in trim and improve wildlife habitats.

Free sessions take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, starting on 12 January 2011 from 10am to 3pm.  And now a recruitment drive is underway to get adults to go green and sign up.  Hannah Darcel, Health and Wellbeing  Ranger with the Forestry Commission, explained:

“There are loads of tasks that need doing in the woods, from removing trees like birch to let oak saplings thrive, planting new hedgerows and enhancing historic features. These are also great ways of staying active and meeting new friends and can have a really positive impact on your sense of wellbeing.”

Volunteers will be taught how to use pruning saws, scythes, loppers, bow saws, grass hooks and slashers and each session will start with gentle warm up exercises and end with a cooldown. Hannah Darcel added:

“People can work at their own pace and there’s a real sense of satisfaction in doing something to create for the environment. There are lots of people who could benefit, including those recovering from illness or anyone with a passion for the great outdoors, whatever their fitness level.”

Wharncliffe Wood is South Yorkshire’s biggest public woodland and a key wildlife hotpsot for birds, grass snakes and insects. The beauty spot is underoging a long term scheme to restore it to its ancient roots with native trees like oak and rowan gradually replacing most of the conifers.

For more information and a registration pack contact Hannah Darcel on 01623 821452 or 07789942599 or email

Note to Editors

Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

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Richard Darn on 01226 246351, mobile 0775 367 0038.