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NEWS RELEASE No: 1659425 MAY 2016

Adventure through the forests on Forestry Commission England’s new wild running trails

Wild running

Forestry Commission England is launching a pilot series of off the beaten running routes as part of their on-going partnership with Sport England. The 5 and 10k trails have been mapped at 4 sites by wild running enthusiasts and authors of guidebook ‘Wild Running’ Jen and Sim Benson, allowing visitors to adventure into the woods and go wild. The routes can be view at

Whilst many visitors use their local forest for running, until now Forestry Commission England has not developed any specialised running trails. Using insight from England Athletics to understand the motivations of different types of runners, these trails have been specifically designed for those who actively seek escapism and are driven by a sense of freedom.

Peter Rawlinson, Head of Active Forests says:

“We have been very fortunate to have worked with Jen and Sim Benson who have designed and mapped the routes for us. Their knowledge and genuine love of running ensure the trails offer a pure and rewarding experience.

“Our forests provide the perfect back drop; they allow runners to get off the beaten track and enjoy stunning scenery, over a challenging and varied terrain.

Jen and Sim Benson explain:

“The trails offer you a great mixture of winding, technical trails and wide, open paths through a beautiful variety of forest and woodland; fun; fast running with some hills thrown in and easy-to-follow navigation, perfect for runners of all levels.

“Running in a forest brings with it a specific magic as the seasons pass; spring with its carpet of bluebells, flourishing trees and plants in the summer, a blaze of colour in the autumn, and winter, when crisp leave crunch beneath your feet.”

The routes are available from the Forestry Commission England website where readers can view maps, print directions and upload a .gpx file to their GPS device if they wish. The site also has a wealth of other information including top tips, the benefits to running in the forest, playlists and top trails for running.

Visit for further information.


Notes to Editor
1. 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. Further information can be found at

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.

2. Sport England are a government department who is working to increase the number of people who play sport regularly and aim to make lives better through sport.

Forestry Commission England’s partnership with Sports England is delivered through the Active Forest Programme. The Active Forest Programme aims to create a sporting habit for life for visitors to the public forest estate in England. The programme will provide engaging, inspirational and motivating sport and exercise opportunities for new and existing forest visitors.

3. Wild Running is Britain’s first guidebook for runners who dream of exploring our spectacular mountain, forest and coastal trails.

Featuring 150 hand-picked runs, chosen for their fantastic and sensational beauty, this book is the ultimate guide for those looking to break free from the city and gym.

For more information and to request images, please contact:
Rebecca Ulewicz at the Forestry Commission on 0300 0674170 or email