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NEWS RELEASE No: 1589725 MARCH 2013

Enjoy a day out on two wheels this Easter with the Forestry Commission.

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Family cycling through the forest

This Easter, treat your family to a fun day out on two wheels at your local Forestry Commission woodland. Our forests are the perfect place to let your kids run, jump and ride – after all, they are nature’s very own playgrounds.

It couldn’t be easier to take your family for a refreshing cycle ride through the forest – even if you don’t have a bike! Many of our woodlands provide cycle hire facilities to get you on track and cycle washing facilities to freshen up your bike after your day out in the forest. There are hundreds of Forestry Commission forests across the country that offer safe off road cycling and 14 dedicated centres, so there are plenty for you to choose from.

The Forestry Commission’s Sherwood Pines is a great place to take your family for a day out over the Easter break. It offers a wide variety of trails for all abilities. The popular Family Cycle Route is ideal for those with small children who would tire on the longer trails, or anyone wanting a leisurely ride through the woodland on an easy track. Picnic benches can be found at every mile along the trail, providing scenic opportunities to rest and enjoy an alfresco lunch.

Getting your family to enjoy the great outdoors is more important now than ever, as a third of children in England are either obese or overweight and a quarter of all adults are classed as physically inactive. Enjoying our local forests can help us achieve this – and not just with regard to our fitness levels. Regular exposure to forests can help reduce the prevalence of asthma, calm the symptoms of ADHD and help relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Paddy Harrop, Forestry Commission:

“Lots of families come to the Forest of Dean to enjoy the fresh air in their lungs and have a good run around. The Family Cycle Trail is pretty popular, and visitors have rated it a 4.2/5. It’s laid over former railway lines with connecting routes to local villages and picnic sites – you can imagine how nice it is on a sunny day – and it ends with a long downhill stretch which is a hit with children and grown-ups alike!”

If you have a Discovery Pass, why not take advantage of our discounted membership with the national cycling charity, CTC? Don’t forget that Discovery Passes also ensure free parking as well as discounts at Forestry Commission cafes and shops – all for less than the price of a month’s gym membership.

So get on your bike this Easter and enjoy the fresh air, green surroundings and invigorating atmosphere that your local forest has to offer.

To find out more, please visit,

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Notes to Editors:

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. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.

2. Forestry Commission Discovery Passes vary in price from £20 - £55 (from the 1st April) for annual membership. For more information visit

3. Forest Research (2010) Benefits of Green Infrastructure; Asthma UK data – see

4. Department of Health (2009) Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures: The strategy for children and young people’s health

5. NHS Information Centre (2009) Health Survey for England 2008: Physical Activity and Fitness. Volume 1. See Quoted in NHS (2010) Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England 2010. See www.ic.nhs. uk/webfiles/publications/opad10/Statistics_on_Obesity_Physical_Activity_and_ Diet_England_2010.pdf. Cited inMoss S (2012) Natural Childhood. Swindon: National Trust

6.  CJC Consulting (2005) Economic Benefits of Accessible Green Spaces for Physical and Mental Health: Scoping Study. Report for the Forestry Commission.

7. Hartig T, Mang M, Evans GW (1991) ‘Restorative effects of natural environment experiences’ Environment and Behavior 1991; 23: 3-27; Ulrich RS (1984) ‘View through a window may influence recovery from surgery’, Science, vol. 224, no. 4647, pp 420-421; Ulrich RS, Simons RF, Losito BD, Fiorito E, Miles MA, Zelson M (1991) ‘Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments’ Journal of Environmental Psychology 1991; 11: 201-203. All three sources cited in Aldridge V, Howie F, Parrott E (2007) Wye Wood – The wider wood. See$FILE/fce-wye-wood-project.pdf

8. Looking for inspiration for gifts? Visit

Media contact: Sara Chan,, 0117 372 5107