© Explore Kent
This weekend marks the end of National Tree Week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration. Organised by the National Tree Council, the week signals the start of the tree planting season.
To join in the celebrations, the Discovering Britain team has put together a collection of their favourite walks, trails and viewpoints in forests and woodlands throughout the country.
Offa’s Dyke trail
This short route traces part of the ancient border between England and Wales. Offa’s Dyke itself is an obvious feature, winding through eight different counties from one coast to the other, but who built it and why? Follow the footsteps of an ancient king to explore how the dyke came to be, its impact on two nations and how it is managed today.
Find out more.
Sheffield Trees trail
Although it’s widely known for a history of steel manufacturing, Sheffield has more trees per person than any other UK city. This trail leads you through some of the Sheffield’s hills, rivers, parks and green spaces to see some of the two million trees within the city’s boundaries. The route also explores why some of Sheffield’s trees are under threat.
© Jo Kemp
Hucking Estate viewpoint
This viewpoint is one of twelve created in partnership with Kent Downs AONB. The Hucking Estate is an ideal spot to appreciate the benefits that ash trees bring to our daily lives – they provide humans with furniture and are homes for a host of plants and animals – but it is estimated that 98% of British ash trees could be lost within the next decade.
Epping Forest walk
Epping Forest is London’s largest open space. This walk explores how the forest has been used and managed over centuries, from peasant villagers cutting wood and monarchs hunting deer to Victorian picnics and wartime defences. After following our route, you can explore the rest of the forest and discover the history of this well-used and well-loved 12 mile stretch of woodland.
© Barry Morson
National Forest walk
In a tranquil corner of north-west Leicestershire and south Derbyshire, a maligned and scarred industrial landscape has been transformed. What were once clay pits, coal mines and derelict buildings are now lakes and parks home to rare butterflies, flowers, skylarks and nightingales. This seven-mile walk explores how this landscape was changed, first by coal and a second time by a bold environmental project.
St Andrews viewpoint
Overlooking a sandy coastline, this Scottish viewpoint may seem an unlikely choice for National Tree Week. But the fir trees lining the back of the beach and embedded in the dunes hold a secret. They were planted to save the area’s famous golf courses by protecting the beach from storms and erosion. As a result, the trees have also helped to regenerate a whole ecosystem and the town’s heritage.
For more trails, walks and viewpoints to explore, head over to the Discovering Britain website.
If you’d like to find out more about the fundamental role trees play in our lives, join us on 21 February for James Aldred and Jonathan Drori in conversation
The winners of the 2018 Young Geographer of the Year competition and Rex Walford Award were announced on Wednesday 28 November, after answering the question ‘What makes the Arctic unique?’.
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Eleven new Deputy Heads of Geography have been appointed within the Government Science and Engineering Profession (GSE).
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