Forestry England, Crown copyright

After the successful running series in 2019, Forestry England are again offering people a chance to challenge themselves and enjoy the freedom, fresh air and scenery of the nation’s forests this autumn in their new running series; Forest Runner.

Set across 10 beautiful forest locations, participants will be able to enter either a 5k or 10k event. Everybody that crosses the finish line will receive a fantastic goody bag with some beautiful solid oak trophies to be won.

This year, Forestry England are delighted to have Merrell, the outdoor clothing and footwear brand, as official Forest Runner event sponsors. Not only are Merrell providing some brilliant prizes, but they will also encourage participants along the way, sharing top trail running tips and advice in the run up to the events, as well as some Strava challenges.

Simon Sweeney, Merrell UK Marketing Manager says: “We are really excited to be supporting the Forest Runner series this year as an event sponsor. Our mission is to promote the benefits of time and experiences in the outdoors on mental health along with our charity partner Mind. This series will provide the perfect platform for runners of all abilities to experience some much needed escapism and experience the beautiful locations we have here in England.”

Forest Runner is more than about being first to the finish line. It’s about enjoying the journey within beautiful surroundings and being a forest runner.

The challenge is all about finding inspiration, reconnecting with the natural world and boosting your health and wellbeing by spending time being active in the forest. With a mix of trails taking you off-road and on to soft and varied terrain, forest running is better for your joints and a breath of fresh air for body and mind.

Steve Cram, former Olympian, World Champion and Director of Events of the North, delivery partners for Forest Runner, says: “As we all strive for a better lifestyle balance, you would struggle to find a more uplifting experience than running through our nation’s stunning forests. We plan to offer you superb running routes over your preferred distance, at your pace, in venues that will invigorate you mentally and physically.”

By taking part, every runner will also help us to take care of the nation’s forests. All money raised by the events will go back into the local forests so that Forestry England can continue to grow, shape and care for them for future generations.

Peter Rawlinson, from Forestry England’s Active Forests Programme, says: “It’s been fantastic to see how many people have been enjoying running in the nation’s forests throughout the ups and downs of the past year.

We have over 250km of waymarked trails for runners to enjoy and with Merrell’s support, we are delighted to be launching this new event series to deepen people’s connections with the nation’s forests. We aim to inspire future generations to run in the forests for years to come.”

Whether you are a 5k Forest Runner or a 10k Forest Runner, choose your challenge and enjoy a run in some of the most beautiful and invigorating surroundings.

Find your local Forest Runner event at

Entry to the 5km event costs £20 and the 10km event costs £22.50, plus booking fees. £2 UK Athletics discount available. Prices include parking, Ts&Cs apply.