National Forest, England

From Academic Kids

The National Forest, which covers an area of 200 square miles (520 km&sup2) of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, is described as "a forest in the making". It stretches from Leicester in the east to Burton-upon-Trent in the west, and links the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood. Planting of the forest began in 1990.

The National Forest Company is a private company attempting to plant 30 million new trees over 135 km&sup2 (33,000 acres) by convincing landowners to alter their land-use. It is hoped to increase tourism and forestry-related jobs in the area. By 2003, some 5 million trees had been planted. The stated goal is to forest one-third of the area.

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HorseChestnutConkers.jpg
The National Forest is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna

Although this many trees have been planted already, they are still very small - and it will be many years before a developed forest can be seen. However, some areas are starting to develop already.

At the centre of the National Forest, is Conkers - a visitor centre located just outside the village of Moira, where visitors can explore the forest, learn about the wildlife, or just play!

In addition to Conkers, a number of tourist attractions reside within the National Forest area including the medieval castle at Ashby de la Zouch, Swadlincote Ski Centre, the stately home of Calke Abbey, and 19th century blast furnace, Moira Furnace.

As well as Ashby de la Zouch, the towns of Burton upon Trent, Swadlincote and Coalville are also located within the forest area.

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