North forest trails amongst nation′s best

15.06.2011

Kielder Water & Forest Park has been named as one of England’s top biking locations for families by the Forestry Commission.

The 62,000 hectare Northumberland wilderness features in a top ten list of prime locations produced to celebrate National Bike Week (18-26 June).

Forest chiefs praise the spectacular views on the easy graded 20 kilometre blue trail, which was launched last year and climbs to over 1,000 foot at Grey’s Pike.

Hamsterley Forest, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, also makes it way onto the elite list for its challenging, but rewarding trails which are perfect for family groups.

Alex MacLennan, Recreation, Tourism and Communities Manager with the Forestry Commission, said:

"Biking has always been a great way to explore the forest and the North East is blessed with two of the finest woods in which to saddle up. We′ve put a lot of effort into opening trails for casual and family bikers in addition to the tougher red and black grade routes."

Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair, added:

"Cycling is a healthy and fun way to explore and enjoy our beautiful woods and forests. Whatever people′s fitness or ability, we want to get everyone out cycling and we are delighted to offer such a large selection of trails for families.”

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more information go to www.forestry.gov.uk/NorthEastEngland

Media calls to Richard Darn on 01226 246351, mobile 0775 367 0038.

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