5 Best Forests to Take Part in
Rainforest Trust UK’s #Hug100Trees Initiative
Rainforest Trust are asking everyone to hug more trees this July as part of their #Hug100Trees campaign, so we’ve rounded up the best trunks to get your arms around this month, and where to find the UK’s best trees!
Arma Karma are big believers in ‘shinrin-yoku’ or ‘forest bathing’, the Japanese principle of immersing yourself in nature, away from technology and day-to-day stress. The benefits of this are not just imagined; scientific studies have shown that forest bathing can benefit your mental health, whilst also reminding you to respect the natural world around us. Rainforest Trust UK knows this all too well, and has consequently encouraged everyone to Hug 100 trees this summer for charity, as a way of reminding us all how vital trees are in protecting our eco-system while raising money as tree-huggers sign up to the wholesome challenge.
So where best to do it? Check out these amazing forest, parks and woodlands right here in the UK to brush up next to some bark, and admire some tree-mendous timber.
1. Epping Forest, Essex
If you’re looking to get up close to some trees with some serious history, Epping Forest is the place. The forest is home to 55,000 ancient trees, more than any other single site in the United Kingdom.
This forest has seen it all, from use as Queen Elizabeth I’s hunting grounds to being the haunt of notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. Oak, beech, hornbeam, silver birch and holly trees all grow here, and you might just spot a deer or two on your visit.
2. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Whilst also an ancient woodland, many of the oldest trees in the Forest of Dean were felled during the industrial revolution to support the growth of the iron industry. However, oak trees were protected from this fate, due to the desire to safeguard them for ship-building, leaving many ancient oaks throughout the park.
A well-known Yew tree also managed to avoid the chop, now aptly named the King Yew, and measures 7.5 metres in circumference today. The Forest is home to thousands of beautiful trees, and interestingly, wild boar, which were illegally re-introduced to the forest in 2006.
3. Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire
With almost 1000 acres of continuous woodland coverage, you’d be able to hug 100 trees in half an hour at Macclesfield Forest. Designated a Site of Biological Importance, this forest boasts two reservoirs, a nature reserve, 30 species of fungi and a heronry.
The predominant species of tree here are Sitka spruce and Japanese Larch, but there are plenty of pines, sycamores and oaks to look out for too.
4. Glenmore Forest Park, Strathspey & Badenoch
One of the remaining areas of the old Caledonian Forest, Glenmore Forest Park is one of the most beautiful wooded areas in Scotland. Predominantly covered in Scots pine trees, the forest is steeped in legend and history: Ly Erg, a fairy of Scottish folklore, supposedly roams the forest.
Surrounding Loch Morlich, Glenmore hosts often unseen flora and fauna, such as red deer, red squirrels, osprey and golden eagles, and otters swim in its many rivers.
Be sure to visit Glenmore again in the winter, when cross-country skiing takes place across the mountains.
5. Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Sherwood Forest is best known as the playground of the legendary Robin Hood, but it is the Major Oak within the forest that really plays a part in the tale. Thought to have been the tree that provided Robin and his Merry Men with shelter, the Major Oak is approximately 1000 years old, and is now so large (a whopping 23 tonnes to be exact) that poles help keep it standing.
It would take six people to wrap around the trees 33ft circumference, but as even footfall near this ancient tree could cause it to creak, it’s now fenced off to be admired from afar.
Whether you’re a seasoned nature lover or a newbie, these forests will be sure to invigorate your body and soul. If you’re a certified #TreeHugger, be sure to choose Rainforest Trust UK as your charity when you take out your Arma Karma subscription, to ensure they can continue their amazing work protecting our planet. Check out more details around their #Hug100Trees initiative here!
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