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NEWS RELEASE No: 1346831 MARCH 2010

North West's forests top of the tree for online visits

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cyclists on tree top ride

The North West’s forests and woodlands are more popular than any other region in Britain, according to new figures showing the number of website visits released by the Forestry Commission.

The Forestry Commission’s North West England website has had more ‘hits’ or website visits than any other regional Forestry Commission website for each of the last three months.

The North West England web pages received over 28,000 visitors in January, which translates as more than one visitor every 2 minutes.

Over the last few months figures have been boosted by interest in the mountain bike trails at Whinlatter Forest Park near Keswick and Gisburn Forest near Clitheroe in Lancashire as well as the recent 6m revamp of visitor facilities at Grizedale Forest near Ambleside in South Cumbria.

The Forestry Commission’s website is particularly popular with mountain bike enthusiasts. Whinlatter Forest’s web pages have seen significant interest for the recently launched Quercus Trail, as well as the existing Altura Trail, for which a trail guide has been downloaded over 2000 times in the last 12 months.

Similarly, the web page for the Forestry Commission’s Gisburn Forest near Clitheroe in Lancashire, which is within easy reach of many Cumbrians, is also proving a big draw since the recent launch of its new purpose built mountain bike trails. Visits to the page are up by 700 percent compared with the same time last year.

Delamere Forest Park in Cheshire also had a good month in December, receiving the second highest number of web visitors in the country, beaten only by Westonbirt in Gloucestershire which is home of the National Arboretum.

Gareth Browning from the Forestry Commission in North West England says:

“We’re delighted with the new figures showing the popularity of the Forestry Commission’s North West England website.

“The creation of new activity pages and sections for some of our new visitor facilities has made the website more user friendly and informative, and the stats show the public have responded really well to this.”

For more information about the Forestry Commission in Cumbria and the North West of England, log on to the Forestry Commission’s website at

1. Images of activities on the Forestry Commission estates around North West England can be obtained by calling 01524-782086.

2. The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain with responsibility for over one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests today are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.

Gareth Browning on 017687 76816 or 0771 2751060.