Medallist Ian Stark Gives Thumbs Up For Riding Facilities
In The National Forest
times Olympic silver medallist three-day eventer Ian Stark heaps
praise on riding facilities in The National Forest, as the second
guide for horse riders in The National Forest is launched today.
Stark designed the new cross country course at Eland Lodge Farm,
one of 8 new sites to be included in the guide. "The National
Forest is certainly a fantastic setting in which to ride",
commented Ian. "It is easily accessible which is a huge advantage,
and caters for all levels of rider - you can enjoy a fun day out
or benefit from intensive schooling for horse and rider".
guide has been produced by the National Forest Company (NFC) and
pulls together detailed information about a total of 35 sites
and the many excellent opportunities for safe, off-road riding
to be found throughout the Forest's 200 square miles.
35 locations spread across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire
and Staffordshire are featured with a general description of each
site along with the routes available, parking information, details
about other facilities and permit information. The guide also
gives a description of how each site links in with the surrounding
are an increasing number of sites suitable for carriage driving,
an aspect of equestrianism that is gaining in popularity, plus
information on accommodation for riders from further afield wanting
to take full advantage of opportunities in the Forest.
Brown, NFC's Land Use Officer, has compiled the guide. She said:
"We are conscious that there is a great demand for off-road
riding and we are working with landowners to meet that need. The
cross country course at Eland Lodge is a great example of this
as it has been created as part of a National Forest Tender Scheme
for woodland creation. All in all the NFC has created some 45
km of new riding routes, through this unique Tender Scheme and
through working in partnership with other organisations. We are
keen to put in place a network of longer routes for safe riding".
riding guide has been supported by the East Midlands Development
Agency. William Kirk, emda's Director of Partnerships, said: "We
are delighted to support the second year of such a valuable guide
for horse riders. Leisure access to the countryside plays a key
role in creating a healthy rural economy. The guide is a good
example of one of the many activities that The National Forest
provides to its visitors".
year there was such phenomenal demand for the first guide that
supplies were exhausted within 2 months. For a free copy of the
guide contact the NFC on 01283 551211 or write to: NFC, Enterprise
Glade, Bath Lane, Moira, Derbyshire DE12 6BD (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Copies are also available from tourist information centres within
The National Forest. Alternatively full details of opportunities
for horse riding in The National Forest are available on the website
The National Forest area covers 200 square miles of the counties
of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Its objective
is to increase woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial
six per cent to about a third. No multi-purpose forest on this
scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years. To date
the proportion of woodland cover for the Forest has already more
than doubled to over 13 per cent. The National Forest Company
was given the job of overseeing the creation of the Forest in
Year by year, The National Forest has been steadily turning what
was once one of the least wooded areas of England into a multi-purpose,
sustainable forest. Already almost five million trees have been
planted. The National Forest provides environmental and economic
benefits, including landscape enhancement, creation of new wildlife
habitats and major new access and leisure opportunities. It is
an excellent example of sustainable development - with environmental
improvement providing a stimulus to economic regeneration.
To achieve its objectives, the National Forest Company works in
partnership with landowners, local authorities and private business
and has strong support from Government, politicians and the public.
The Company currently receives £3.7m a year in grant in
aid from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.