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Improve your health and fitness with Nordic Walking

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Learn the Nordic Walk programme

Forestry Commission England takes Nordic Walking in its stride at Alice Holt Forest, offering beginners’ classes starting this autumn.

Originally a summer training exercise for cross-country skiers in Scandinavia, its appeal has taken off worldwide, attracting a younger generation of walkers who want to lose weight, tone up and develop a healthy lifestyle in the great outdoors.

Beginner Nordic Walking classes are available starting on Tuesday 30 September from 10am to 11.15am at Alice Holt Forest. Suitable for men and women of any age and fitness level, from the more athletic to those in recovery from cardiovascular disease, surgery or people who have been advised to lose weight by their GP. The classes are tailored to the fitness and ability level of participants.

A qualified Nordic Walking instructor will train participants on the correct walking technique using Nordic Walking poles. The movement is like using cross trainer equipment in gyms, but the technique and experience are very different when Nordic Walking outdoors in forest scenery.

The poles encourage walkers to take larger strides and help to push the walker forwards. Using upper and lower body muscles, Nordic Walkers burn more energy and exercise their heart and lungs more than in ordinary walking. The sport is particularly popular with ex-runners and those with knee problems because it has less impact on the joints.

Charlotte Magowan, Forestry Commission England marketing manager at Alice Holt Forest, said:
“It’s a fantastic all-over body exercise which targets the legs, bums, tums and the upper arms.  All of this in the fresh air, with the wind in your hair while enjoying the colourful displays of autumn in the forest. It’s got to be one of the most enjoyable and sociable ways to get fit.”

A four week progressive course costs £40 including pole hire.  For experienced walkers who have completed a beginners’ course there are weekly guided walks led by trained volunteers on Tuesday mornings, Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. For more information and bookings visit or call 01420 23666.  Advance booking is essential for all activities. Alice Holt Forest is south of Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LS, at Bucks Horn Oak, off the A325 near Birdworld.

Notes to editors:

The Forestry Commission
The Forestry Commission manages over 250,000 hectares (600,000 acres) of woodlands in England.  Most of this land is open for public access and the Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in the country. For further information visit

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.

Media Contact
Charlotte Magowan, Marketing Manager Forestry Commission, Alice Holt Forest
T: 01420 23666 E: