An incredible three quarters of a million parkruns have now been completed at the nation’s forests, making running in forests a popular choice.
Providing fun and practical ways for everyone to start or continue with their running journey has been an ambitious project for Forestry England over the last five years. From new waymarked trails to a new running series called Forest Runner, Forestry England have been working hard to provide opportunities for people of all ability and experience to feel confident to hit the trails, enjoy nature and benefit from being active outdoors.
This seems to be working. Last year, Forestry England reported a 31% increase of people using their running trails between April and June beating the highest previous quarterly figure, and they saw 2,500 people taking part in their first ever race series, Forest Runner. This is on top of the three quarters of a million completed parkruns at Forestry England sites across England.
Kate Allan, from Forestry England’s Active Forest Programme says: “It’s been fantastic to see more and more people enjoying running in the nation’s forests. Over the years we have listened to visitors who wanted to run in our forests but were not familiar enough with our trails or worry about getting lost. Developing our running offer during the past 5 years, with support from amazing partners such as Sport England, has helped to remove these concerns. This has allowed runners to enjoy the freedom, fresh air and scenery of the nation’s forests. We have had runners’ comment that they would struggle to find a more uplifting experience than running through our forests and this really is something to celebrate!”
With the days getting longer and warmer and with over 320km of varied waymarked trails on offer up and down the country, and with Forest Runner returning this autumn, could now be a good time to consider your running or jogging journey with Forestry England?
From Whinlatter Forest in Cumbria to Haldon Forest Park in Devon and everywhere in-between you can enjoy a full and varied range of routes that cater for all abilities. For those just starting out, perhaps on their couch-to-5k journey right up to the more seasoned trail runners, there is something everyone!
To find your nearest running trail visit the Forestry England website.
So grab your trainers, a friend or even join an organised group and get outside to enjoy any of these fabulous running trails. There really is something for everyone whatever your level of experience and the benefits for both mind and body are endless.