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Third Rothbury and Coquetdale Walking Festival

April 18th, 2011

Walking festival in Northumberland National Park

Northumberland National Park has teamed up again with Shepherds Walks to bring together the third Rothbury and Coquetdale Walking Festival – www.rothburywalking.co.uk – in June. With sixteen walks over eight days there is something for everybody from short history walks to walks along the border ridge between England and Scotland.

Highlights include:

Drover Roads of Coquetdale – an 8 mile guided walk looking at the old drover roads that criss-crossed Rothbury and Coquetdale. When droving was at its peak between the 16th-18th Centuries, great trains of cattle of traditional hardy hill breeds were driven from Scotland to the markets of England. These old green roads – many of them hundreds of years old – still wind through the hills and make firm walking through breathtaking countryside.

Nordic Walking – a full day’s training course for those wanting to try out this way of walking for fitness and health. Nordic Walking is perfect for people who want to get more active and fit. It is simple to learn, suitable for people who have been inactive for a while and a great way to gently encourage full body movement. The poles help to reduce pressure on the knees and joints and help propel the walker along making walking feel easier than you expect.

The festival walks are led by a range of experienced walk guides from the National Park (www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk) and from Shepherds Walks, set up by Jon Monks, a local Northumbrian hill shepherd (www.shepherdswalks.co.uk).

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Mountain Bike Trail A Huge Success In Its First Year

April 14th, 2011

Mountain bike trail celebrates first birthday

The Monkey Trail at the Forestry Commission’s Cannock Chase will be officially one year old on April 17. It has enjoyed a huge popularity over the past 12 months being ridden more than 100,000 times. That adds up to1 million miles of healthy riding by bikers – the equivalent of biking around the world 51 times.

During this time the route, which starts at the Birches Valley Visitor Centre, was also voted as the ‘Reader Trail of the Year’ by readers of the popular magazine Mountain Bike Rider – www.mbr.co.uk. They ranked it as being better than all other man-made trails as well as our thousands of kilometres of bridleway.

Sponsored by bike manufacturer Giant, The Monkey Trail is an 8 kilometre extension to the existing ‘Follow the Dog’ trail. The trail, which is characterised by short sharp climbs and long flowing descents, was created by a partnership between the Forestry Commission and a group of local volunteers called Chase Trails.

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