New Forest set for two week festival of walking

Beaulieu Road Walk Walking Festival
Beaulieu Road Walk Walking Festival

An explosion of golden autumn colour is sweeping the New Forest in the build up to the National Park’s annual walking festival.
 
The two week festival begins this Saturday (13 October) with the first of more than 80 expert-led strolls taking walkers behind the scenes in the Forest.
 
Archaeologists, rangers, woodsmen and commoners aim to enthuse and inform visitors about the New Forest and encourage them to care for the area. The festival runs from 13 to 28 October and features walks of all lengths on a huge variety of topics.
 
Bookings for the annual event have been strong, with walks covering the history and culture of the area proving particularly popular.
 
Established by the New Forest National Park Authority in 2013 with support from Forest organisations and businesses, the festival has grown in popularity with residents and visitors each year.
 
The National Park is a wonderful place to walk during the autumn, with flat, accessible routes that allow walkers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the Forest’s fiery foliage. Prices vary, with many walks free.

Walks cover topics including:
•    The ancient tradition of commoning
•    Wild play for children
•    Top tips for forest photography
•    Coastal birdwatching
•    Fascinating fungi facts.
New Forest National Park Authority Head of Recreation Management and Learning, Nigel Matthews, said: ‘There has never been such a range and depth of walks in our yearly festival of walking, meaning there really is something for everyone.
‘With walks of all distances and the insight of passionate local experts, the Walking Festival is the perfect excuse to get outside for a walk in the Forest this autumn. We hope participants will learn more about the National Park and that this will inspire them to care for this special place.’

The New Forest Walking Festival is funded by the £4.4m Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the Forest fit for the future.
The festival is run in partnership with many local organisations including the Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council, New Forest Association, New Forest Ramblers and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

Tickets remain on sale throughout the festival at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/festivalwalks

 

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