Showing 1 - 12 of 26 Results
Published: 27th June 2018
The last of our six Noon Columns is situated at Jacksons Bank, part of the ancient Needwood Forest and right on the outer reaches of the National Forest. The walk is an easy hours stroll but you might like to complete your outing by making use of the large, and rather lovely, picnic area at the entrance to the woodland. This beautiful Noon Column is the most rugged of the six - being carved to capture the essence of the many mature trees within this landscape. Indeed it does it so well that at a glimpse one might pass by as it blends into the setting of the forest. Stop to take a closer look and you’ll see how cleverly it has been crafted.
Published: 24th May 2018
This Noon Column is situated very much in the heart of the National Forest at Sence Valley Forest Park. It is easy to spot, being sited right alongside the car park as you enter the park. The dark colours of both the column and the surround perfectly reflect the huge influence that mining has had on this area. It is a wonderful way to contrast the past with the present and show what a difference planting the National Forest has made - walkers leaving the column can choose between exploring the lakes and streams of Sence Valley, or taking the National Forest Way across the fields to either Kelham Bridge Nature Reserve or The Diamond Jubilee Wood. Our walk follows part a of the National Forest Way before turning back across farmland to enter Sence Valley. We then meander around the lakes and back to the Noon Column. Allow a little over an hour for your walk.
Published: 1st May 2018
The Mease and Sence Noon Column is sited within Grangewood, between Overseal and Coton in the Elms. The shape of this, our fourth column, is carved to celebrate the church spires which can be viewed from the open farmland within this area. Grangewood is a large area which combines young plantations with some lovely mature woodland - it is possible to amble for hours and get quite lost here so make sure to follow the directions carefully. Our walk takes around an hour and includes a short section of the National Forest Way - we visit the noon column near the end of the walk.
Published: 21st March 2018
This, our third of the six carved noon columns, is a smooth and elegant structure carved out of English oak. The column is situated within the Staunton Harold Estate and our circular walk takes us down part of the driveway to this lovely estate before heading out towards on a farm track. Looping around we return via a hard path that winds down through young woodland to reach the site of the noon column. This is a shortened version of the Staunton Harold/Lount Loop walk featured in Walks for all in the Heart of the Forest. Allow 45 minutes to an hour for your walk - if you fancy refreshments afterwards you can choose from the tea rooms within the garden centre or those at the Ferrers Centre.
Published: 21st February 2018
This month we visit our second of the six carved noon columns. Each of these represents the character of a different part of the National Forest and this one is carved in the form of a flood marker reflecting the natural wetlands in which it is located. Croxall Lakes is situated at the joining of the River Trent with the Tame and the Mease and provides habitat for a wide range of wintering and breeding birds. There is a hide situated on the edge of the lake, close to the noon column, and it is well worth taking a pair of binoculars. Among the species seen on site are lapwings, oystercatchers and short eared owls - there are also signs of otters and water voles being present. We took our dogs on this walk up to the noon column but if you want to explore further you should be aware that there are parts of the site where dogs are not permitted.
Published: 24th January 2018
Within the National Forest there are 6 Noon Columns - each is carved from English Oak to reflect the character of the landscape in which it sits. Over the next few months we will be visiting 6 different areas of the National Forest to take a short stroll around the site of each of the columns. We start with the Charnwood Noon Column which is situated within Billa Barra Nature Reserve, close to the A511 at Markfield. I loved the smooth lines of this Noon Column and the small section of dry stone wall which has been built beside it. Billa Barra Nature Reserve is a quiet spot with a mix of open grassland, young woodland and a wonderful old copse of trees on top of the hill. Our loop goes up the hill, where you can explore the rocky outcrops, before heading down and circling the nature reserve.
Published: 20th December 2017
It’s that time again when we enter into the coming year full of new resolutions and good intentions. Last year The Telegraph reported that the top 2 new year's resolutions were to exercise more and to lose weight. Walking is often overlooked but it is easy, costs nothing, and is a brilliant way to become fitter and healthier. It is also good for your mental health, helping you clear your mind and reconnect to the natural world. Whether you are a seasoned walker or someone who has slipped out of the habit of making time for regular exercise now is a wonderful time to set some goals and give yourself a walking challenge for 2018. Here are just a few ideas to help with that first step towards a fitter, more active year.
Published: 23rd October 2017
This is a beautiful circular walk round the woods and heathland of Bardon Hill. The paths are all well marked, with part of the walk following the Ivanhoe Way. Bardon Hill is the highest point in Leicestershire but by going around the hill first you avoid the steepest climb (though you do come down that way). The views are fantastic.
The hillside has been managed by grazing to encourage the growth of heathers and other heathland plants and attracts much wildlife. The paths can be slippery in places, especially after wet weather, so I’d advise sturdy footwear.
Published: 28th September 2017
This walk is a little further out than usual but well worth the trip. Beacon Hill Country Park is a beautiful spot and there is lots to see and do on this walk making it ideal for a family trip out. En route you can spot the chainsaw carvings, explore the spooky rhododendron labyrinth and look out for the alpacas, cattle and sheep which graze the hillside. The paths are all good but be prepared for a bit of a climb - the views make it well worth the effort though. There is a charge for the car park which works on a ticket system with a machine to pay before leaving. It cost me £3 for 2 hours parking - the walk takes a little under 90 minutes but you may well want to stay longer. There are plenty of good places to enjoy a picnic.
Published: 23rd August 2017
This walk takes you on a pleasant circuit starting from the Church at Donisthorpe, out along the Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail to Oakthorpe and then through the quiet village before returning past the lakes of Saltersford Valley. There is a short section of path near the end that cam get quite narrow in mid-summer but the remainder is very easy walking with a variety of different countryside to enjoy along the way. I’d allow around 45 minutes for this walk.
Published: 26th July 2017
This month’s walk follows a loop from the Staunton Harold Estate out to Lount and then back through young woodland and past the noon column. The grass and hedgerows can get quite well grown in places at this time of year but the paths are well signed. There is a short section alongside the road at Lount and one at the start of the walk, alongside the driveway at Staunton Harold. The walk took me around an hour and a quarter - if you fancy refreshments afterwards you can choose from Staunton Stables Tea Rooms at the Ferrers Centre or The Peach House Restaurant which is located within the garden centre.
Published: 28th June 2017
A pretty stroll in the woodland between Albert Village and Church Gresley. This circular walk will take you over the top of the railway tunnel that the woods are named after and then round through Church Gresley Woods. The paths are well maintained with good surfaces and it’s all fairly easy walking. Allow about an hour to enjoy this walk.