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Forestry Commission urges you to get fit in the forest

Forestry Commission urges you to get fit in the forest

The Forestry Commission is urging mountain bikers to head to its forests to uphold New Year resolutions to get fitter, and is keen to remind us all that they have over 1000km of trails across England for riding.

“Our forests have everything you need for a great day out cycling, from easy going trails to the adrenaline rushes of the more extreme mountain bike routes,” it states in a press release sent out today.

Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair says: “We all overindulge during the festive season so why not take up a new hobby in our forests as a fun and cheap alternative to a trip to the gym.

Research shows that people enjoy themselves more when exercising outdoors.  With so many classes and activities to choose from at Forestry Commission sites, we can help you stay healthy and fit.”

To that end it has launched a new section on its website, Forest Fit, reminding us of the benefits of mountain biking in your local woodland. Rather than an expensive gym membership, a Discovery Pass is a more affordable option for increasing your fitness, it claims. Head to to take a look.

They have over 1000km of trails and countless forest roads for you to explore, or why not try one of  their exciting events on offer. There are freeride sessions, time trials and Real Spin classes available, or if you want to learn a new skill sign up for mountain bike coaching which can be done by all ages and abilities.  For a fun alternative they also have fortnightly night rides through the forest.

More information on the trails at this website

Here’s the full list of English woodlands:


  1. Mike Vandeman

    It’s unseemly that the Forestry Commission actually BEGS mountain bikers to come and wreck the land that they are responsible for. Where have you been??? MOST of the world is trying to PROTECT what little remains of our wildlife habitat….

    Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1994: . It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

    A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited, and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see ). I found that of the seven studies they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

    Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them, but scientifically, they are worthless.

    Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s good about THAT?

    For more information: .


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