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Friends of The National Forest FAQs

What will my donation support?

Your donation, alongside other Friends, will support woodland creation, woodland management, environmental education and access projects in The National Forest. At the end of each year we will publish, on the Friends section of the website, a description of where we have spent, or are planning to spend, the money raised during the year.

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What are the benefits of becoming a Friend?

You will know you are helping to create a vast new forest, leaving a positive legacy for generations to come. But also you will receive a personalised certificate acknowledging your support, and a tree will be planted in the forest to express our gratitude. You will receive a newsletter to keep you up to date with progress, stories and events in the Forest and you will also be invited once a year, with a guest, to a talk, walk or to visit a place of interest in the Forest.

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How many Friends are there?

The Friends scheme has only just been launched but it is our aim to have a 1000 friends in the first year.

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When will the Friends annual event take place?

The Friends event will normally take place in the spring each year, and you will be given at least a month’s notice of the date.

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What kind of trees do you plant?

We plant native broadleaf trees like oak, ash and silver birch. Depending on the characteristics of a woodland site we may also plant other trees like wild cherry, alder, willow and field maple.

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Can I visit the site where my tree will be planted?

We will announce on the website at the end of the planting season where all trees planted in gratitude to Friends are located, with a map and directions.

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Can I plant the tree myself?

Unfortunately that will not be possible. All the trees will be planted together by a forest contractor. However  if you particularly wish to plant a tree you can take part in the Plant a Tree scheme run by The National Forest Company (see This allows you, friends& family to attend an event to plant a tree yourself.

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When does my Friends membership come to an end?

Your membership is set up to be on-going, this reduces the amount of time and resource we spend on administration, ensuring maximum sums are available for Forest creation and other woodland projects. However if you wish to cancel at any time, for whatever reason, it is very simple to do so, just let us know your wishes and cancel your future payments. We hope you will be able to support us for a long time but if your circumstances change we do understand that you may need to cancel, and we hope to welcome you back at a future date.

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What is an access project?

An access project improves the experience of residents and visitors visiting the Forest. Some examples might be improving a path in a woodland, or putting in an interpretation panel to illustrate  what you can see in a woodland, replacing a stile or putting in a bench so that can someone can take a rest.

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How many trees have been planted in the forest so far?

8 million trees have been planted since 1995 and woodland cover has increased form 6% to over 19% today.

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Where does environmental education take place?

There are thee education centres in the Forest:  CONKERS, Rosliston Forestry Centre and Snibston Discovery Centre.

Education at CONKERS is based around highly interactive indoor and outdoor experiences offering a unique mix of ranger-led and teacher-led activities. The ranger-led activities are designed to closely support QCA Schemes of work and the National Curriculum. CONKERS has been awarded the national recognised ‘Learning Outside the Classroom’ Quality Badge. CONKERS is located in 120 acres of woodland with ponds and lakes. Classroom facilities and interactive exhibits offer an excellent environment for learning.

Rosliston Forestry centre concentrates on 'Green' education, ecology and natural history. Curriculum-linked activities, based on exploration and investigation in the woods and meadows always have a big emphasis on fun.  Subjects covered include science, geography, history, music, literacy, technology, citizenship and art & design. They offer a range of ‘woodland experience’ sessions including bush craft and ‘Forest School’ taster days and programmes for all age groups.

Snibston Discovery Centre comprises an interactive museum, historic colliery railway, outside play areas and a Country Park and nature reserve, located on the site of the former Snibston Colliery. Snibston Discovery Museum has also been awarded the nationally-recognised ‘Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge’. Snibston has a focus on design, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and celebrates the success of generations of local technology pioneers, allowing students to understand the impact that these technologies have had in shaping the world.

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Where exactly is The National Forest?

The National Forest covers 200 square miles of parts of Staffordshire, South Derbyshire and North- West Leicestershire, right at the heart of England. The forest is less than one hour drive from Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Stoke and Derby.

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