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Forest Diary, Lighting up the Forest

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Electric Forest 2011 - credit John Williamson

With February half-term round the corner, it’s a busy time for me as one of the Forestry Commission’s Recreation Rangers. The school holidays provide the perfect opportunity for families to get out in the forest and explore the outdoors, but this half-term is going to be particularly special as you’ll have the chance to see the forest in a whole new light…

Normally the forest falls silent once the sun goes down, but for one week, Moors Valley Country Park will be lit up after dark for a unique adventure trail. Designed for the Forestry Commission by visual arts company Culture Creative, The Electric Forest is a family friendly walking trail taking place from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February and will provide visitors with an extraordinary opportunity to explore the forest at night.

The trail will be part-lit and installations of light and sound will be dotted around, illuminating the trees and plants like you’ve never seen before. Night time is when the forest usually goes quiet and is underused, but The Electric Forest is a great chance to make the most of all it has to offer.  For instance, you can take a stroll along our tree top ‘ballroom’ walkway, which will be transformed by gently spinning mirror balls and where you’ll get the most amazing view of Moors Valley Country Park.  Children will enjoy climbing on our lit up natural play areas, enabling them to discover the darkness of the forest safely.  We’re also planning a forest treasure trail for them to follow too.

The Electric Forest is going to be a great event that will enable you to experience Moors Valley’s waymarked woodland tracks and family friendly play structures in the most imaginative way. Myself and the other Recreation Rangers will be on hand to guide visitors round the circular walking route, which is a great way to venture outdoors during these winter months and meander through the forest landscape.

The Rangers and I have helped Culture Creative pick out some great spots across Moors Valley to make sure you get the most out of the light and sound installations and see some of the best views of the woodland and forest canopy. There’ll be some ideal photo moments too, so make sure you bring your camera and don’t forget a torch and to wrap up warm!

The self guided Electric Forest trail will be open between 6.30pm and 9pm every evening and the last admittance to the trail is at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £15.50 per adult and £10 for children (5 to 16yrs) Under 5’s go free. Forestry Commission parking is included in  the price. To book tickets, please visit or call the Forestry Commission box office on 03000 680 400. For more information on Moors Valley Country Park and Forest visit

Justin Rylands, Recreation Ranger