Forestry Commission Scotland invites Johnstone people to take a hike

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Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is helping Johnstone residents stick to their keep fit New Year resolutions by offering a guided walk through local woodlands this Thursday, February 9th.

Research suggests peoples good intentions slip in the month of February however FCS is keeping people on the straight and narrow by launching their first guided walk of the year at Johnstone woodlands.

As part of the Feel Fitter programme, Forestry Commission Scotland has organised a number of walking events throughout the year to encourage people to discover what lies on their doorstep, enjoy light exercise and make new friends.

Ramblers of all ages and fitness levels will spend three hours exploring Rannoch and Bluebell Woods and continue up to Windyhill, a Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), site to explore the recently completed footpath extension.

During the winter walk, participants will learn about the trail’s natural surroundings and animals as well as finding out about seasonal effects and the local heritage of the site.

Derek Shannan, Community Ranger at Forestry Commission Scotland said:

“Local forests are great places to go to keep fit. Walking is a great way to stay in good shape– it can help maintain healthy weight levels, reduces stress, increases confidence, improves the heart and lungs and keeps the brain active.

“It can be hard to keep your New Year’s resolutions but taking part in organised activities like this walk around the forests of Johnstone can really help.

“Our guided walks are designed to improve people’s general fitness and well-being. There is nothing better than throwing on a pair of walking shoes, grabbing a backpack and exploring what these local woodlands have to offer.”

FCS rangers advise that appropriate outdoor clothing should be worn and recommend bringing hot drinks and food.

Anyone wishing to take part should meet at the old Bird in Hand Hotel, Beith Road at 10.30am. The walk is free and for more information please call Derek Shannan on 07798827978 or e-mail

Notes to news editors

1.    Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of Forestry Commission Scotland.

2.  Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate.

3.   Notaichean
Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde.
Airson agallamhan anns a' Ghàidhlig, cuiribh fios gu Oifigear Leasachaidh Gàidhlig a' Choimisean, Louise NicBheathain air 01463 725 038.

4. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office 0131 314 6508.