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Free Nordic Walking Taster Sessions in the Forest

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Nordic Walking event

Are you looking for a way to get fit and healthy over the Autumn and Winter?  Are you sick of the gym?  Why not give Nordic Walking a go?

Qualified instructor, Fiona Swan is offering free 45 minute taster sessions to people at Haldon Forest Park near Exeter as well as some other locations. 

Nordic walking is a popular fitness technique that incorporates specially designed walking poles to work the upper part of the body as well as the legs whilst walking, making it a full body work out.  It was first developed in Finland in the 1950s to help cross country skiers maintain their fitness. 

By using the specially designed poles, people can use all the major muscles in the body to burn up to twice as many calories as ordinary walking, even though the poles make it feel easier by propelling the walker along!  It is also a great for people who ski – good training to be doing outside the ski season. 

Fiona Swan says:

“These taster sessions give people the opportunity to come along and see if Nordic walking is something they enjoy.  If it is, they can then sign up for the Nordic Walking UK Lean to Nordic Walk Training Course here at Haldon.  The cost of the course is £46 which includes pole hire.  On completion people get a Nordic Walking competence card, enabling them to join walks at other forests and locations across the UK.  However, there is no obligation to sign up for this course after the free session – it really is just a chance to have a go.”

Once people have mastered the technique they can also attend Fiona’s regular Nordic fitness walks held on Saturdays and Wednesdays at Haldon from 10am until 11.15am. 

Fiona says:

“Not only is Nordic walking a great workout, it is a fun and sociable activity and a good way to meet new people.  Having Haldon Forest as a venue is also great as it gives people the chance to take it some beautiful forest scenery.”

Notes to editors

  1. There is something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park.  It is 3.500 acres of woodland, owned by the Forestry Commission, just fifteen minutes from Exeter.  It is open every day and there are a range of walks and all ability trails, cycling trails as well as a wide range of events.  Rangers are on hand daily to give advice and ensure people get the most out of their visit.  In addition Forest Cycle Hire is based at Haldon, hiring out mountain bikes to visitors and facilitating groups of cyclists in the forest.  Haldon Forest Park also hosts Go Ape, an award-winning high wire forest adventure course of rope bridges, tarzan swings and zip slides in the tree tops.  The Ridge Café is open at Haldon every day serving a range of delicious, locally sourced food and drink.  The site is also home to the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, an innovative organisation, which uses the arts to explore new understandings of our place within nature.  They hold regular exhibitions and run educational events.

  2. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England 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.  Further information can be found at

For further information please contact Kirstie Smith, Communications Manager, Forestry Commission on 01392 834249.