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NEWS RELEASE No: 134959 APRIL 2010

Learning about the forest with the Forestry Commission

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Trees with castle in background at Bodmin

The Forestry Commission has two special events organised in May at Haldon Forest Park for people interested in learning more about the forest.

A special dawn chorus event is being held at Haldon on Saturday 1 May.  Starting early at 5am the 2.5 mile walk offers people the chance to hear the dawn chorus throughout the forest.

There will be a chance to explore the best areas of the forest for songbirds and see some of Haldon’s shyer creatures such as deer.

After working up an appetite walkers will be able to tuck into a traditional English or vegetarian breakfast at the Ridge Cafe.  The event is suitable for people aged over 13 years and costs £12 per person, which includes breakfast.

The event is being organised in conjunction with the Wildlife Trust’s International Dawn Chorus Day, the worldwide celebration of Nature’s daily miracle.  More details can be found at

Later in the month Haldon is also hosting a Forest Lecture.  On 13 May, people can discover what a tree means to an artist, a forester and an ecologist.  This event is being organised by the Forestry Commission and the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural world and is designed to give people food for thought about the importance of trees from three very different perspectives. 

The event is suitable for children aged over 12 and the cost is £8 for adults and £6 for children.  It runs from 6pm until 8pm and people are advised to bring a cushion for comfort. 

Booking is essential for both events by calling 01392 834233.

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.  The Ridge Café is also on site serving a range of local, organic and fairtrade food and drink.  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 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

Kirstie Smith, Communications Manager, Forestry Commission on 01392 834249.