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Winner of 'Haldon Experience' delighted with her prize

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BACK ROW - L-R - John Waller from Forest Cycle Hire, Kim Longthorpe (winner), Clive Adams from CCANW, Paul Sheperd from Segway South West, John Thompson from Go Ape AND FRONT ROW L-R is Ian Cant from The Ridge Cafe and Louise Bell Haldon Forest Park Manager

It was smiles all round at the Forestry Commission’s Haldon Forest Park when the winner of the ‘Haldon Experience’ came to collect her prize. 

Kim Longthorpe was met by representatives from all the businesses that donated the prizes for a draw which took place at the Rediscover Haldon event on Sunday 19 September.  The event was held to celebrate the opening of a new cycle network at Haldon which has been invested in by the Rural Development Programme for England as part of the 1 South West project.

Her ‘Haldon Experience’ which is based on a family of four includes a free Haldon Discovery Pass, a day’s bike hire from Forest Cycle Hire, a Go Ape ticket, a Segway session, a slow goodie bag from the Centre for Contemporary Art & The Natural World and lunch at The Ridge Cafe. 

Kim recently moved to Ide from Taunton with her husband and the couple, who are expecting their first baby, were delighted to find Haldon just on their doorstep. 

Kim says:

"We love to come to Haldon to walk and relax and my husband has joined a running club up here – it is such a fantastic resource.  I am so delighted to win this fabulous prize and am looking forward to having a go at all the different activities that are on offer.”

The Haldon team also thanked another winner – Sue McGivern who won the ‘Name that Trail’ Competition.  Sue came up with the winning name ‘The Challenge Trail’ for the new cycle trail and won a bike helmet donated by Forest Cycle Hire and a free Haldon Discovery Pass.

Louise Bell, Haldon Forest Park manager says:

“We hope that both Kim and Sue enjoy their prizes.  We are so pleased with the latest developments at the park which includes ‘The Challenge Trail’, which is aimed at intermediate cyclists and includes a variety of surfaces and some narrow sections.  We also now have a new cycle skills area and pump trail as part of the 1 South West project which further add to the fantastic facilities at Haldon.  

“In addition to the bike facilities, which include bike hire from Forest Cycle Hire, there are a range of walking trails, the Go Ape course and the Centre for Contemporary Art & The Natural World.  We also have the fantastic Ridge Cafe and have Segway Southwest on site offering visitors the chance to experience the forest in a different and exciting way.  We also recently got a Tramper at the park as part of the Countryside Mobility project, so people with mobility issues can also enjoy our trails.  There really is something for everyone and I would encourage those who have yet to experience Haldon to give it a go soon!”



  1. There is something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park.  It is 1,400 hectares (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 Malden 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  

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

  4. RDPE
    The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) runs from 2007 to 2013.  It is the 2nd pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy and aims to support the creation of genuinely sustainable farming, forestry and food sectors, whilst also bringing wider benefits for the economy, the environment and rural communities. It provides the major financial vehicle for protecting and enhancing the environment and securing a range of public benefits for society. Defra is the Managing Authority The RDPE has three priorities for rural development:
    1.  Improving competitiveness of the agriculture and forestry sectors
    2.  Improving the environment and the countryside 
    3.  Improving the quality of life in rural areas and encouraging diversification of economic activity.
    In this region, the South West RDA will deliver priorities 1 and 3 with a budget of £156.8 million over the seven years. The RDA is also responsible for ensuring that five per cent of the RDPE funding is spent on enabling community involvement in rural development.  The delivery partners in the South West aim to ensure that investment in each of the three priorities will help support investment in the others.
    The RDPE priority for improving the environment and the countryside is being delivered nationally by the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Grant Scheme and Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme.    In addition, a minimum of 5% of the programme will be delivered through a local community-led approach.
    The aims, objectives and priorities for delivering RDPE in South West England were agreed for the socio-economic investments with regional partners and these are set out in the Regional Implementation Plan. On the basis of a thorough analysis of South West England’s rural characteristics and economy, the Plan sets out eight themes:
    i. Skills development
    ii. Social enterprise
    iii. Business support
    iv. Supply chain and adding value
    v. Resource management (soil, water, energy, waste)
    vi. Sustainable rural tourism
    vii. Biodiversity and landscape
    viii. Community-led development
    Further more information on the RDPE and the schemes see Organisations involved in delivering RDPE The South West RDA leads the development of a sustainable economy, investing to unlock the region's business potential. It works in partnership with public, private and social purpose organisations to drive up the region's productivity by giving people the skills they need, encouraging enterprise, improving infrastructure, regenerating places and promoting the strengths of the region. For more information see Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban, coastal and marine areas. It conserves and enhances the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people, and the economic prosperity it brings. For more information see  Environmental Stewardship (ES) was launched in 2005, builds on the very best practice already evident in British farming. During the period 2007-13 the national budget for ES will be £2.9 billion. The objectives of ES are to:  
    - Conserve wildlife (biodiversity).  
    - Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character.  
    - Protect the historic environment and natural resources.  
    - Promote public access and understanding of the countryside.  
    - Natural resource protection.