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Become a Forest Runner

After the successful 2019 events, Forestry England are opening up entries to their races in the nation’s forests this autumn in their new running series; Forest Runner. We have featured them previously here.

The 5K and 10K events will be held at 10 scenic forest locations. Finishers will receive a fantastic goody bag along with some beautiful solid oak trophies to be won.

This year, Forestry England are delighted to have Merrell, the outdoor clothing and footwear brand, as official Forest Runner event sponsors. Not only are Merrell providing some brilliant prizes, but they will also encourage participants along the way, sharing top trail running tips and advice in the run up to the events, as well as some Strava challenges.

Simon Sweeney, Merrell UK Marketing Manager says:

“We are really excited to be supporting the Forest Runner series this year as an event sponsor.  Our mission is to promote the benefits of time and experiences in the outdoors on mental health along with our charity partner Mind. This series will provide the perfect platform for runners of all abilities to experience some much needed escapism and experience the beautiful locations we have here in England.”

Forest Runner is about more than being first to the finish line. It’s about enjoying the journey within beautiful surroundings and being a forest runner.

The challenge is all about finding inspiration, reconnecting with the natural world and boosting your health and wellbeing by spending time being active in the forest. With a mix of trails taking you off-road and on to soft and varied terrain, forest running is better for your joints and a breath of fresh air for body and mind.

Steve Cram, Olympian, World Champion and Director of Events of the North, delivery partners for Forest Runner, says:

“As we all strive for a better lifestyle balance, you would struggle to find a more uplifting experience than running through our nation’s stunning forests. We plan to offer you superb running routes over your preferred distance, at your pace, in venues that will invigorate you mentally and physically.”

Forest Runner
credit Forestry England, Crown copyright

By taking part, every runner will also help us to take care of the nation’s forests. All money raised by the events will go back into the local forests so that Forestry England can continue to grow, shape and care for them for future generations.

Peter Rawlinson, from Forestry England’s Active Forests Programme, says:

“It’s been fantastic to see how many people have been enjoying running in the nation’s forests throughout the ups and downs of the past year.

“We have over 250km of waymarked trails for runners to enjoy and with Merrell’s support, we are delighted to be launching this new event series to deepen people’s connections with the nation’s forests. We aim to inspire future generations to run in the forests for years to come.”

Forest Runner sites and 2021 dates:

  • Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, 12 Sept – 4pm
  • Delamere Forest, 19 Sept – 9am
  • Bedgebury Pinetum, 26 Sept – 9am
  • Salcey Forest, 10 Oct – 9am
  • Sherwood Pines Forest, 17 Oct – 9am
  • Hamsterley Forest,  24 Oct – 9am
  • High Lodge, Thetford Forest, 31 Oct – 10am
  • Whinlatter Forest,  7 Nov – 9am
  • Cannock Forest, 14 Nov – 9am
  • Forest of Dean, Mallards Pike, 28 Nov – 9am

Whether you are a 5k Forest Runner or a 10k Forest Runner, choose your challenge and enjoy a run in some of the most beautiful and invigorating surroundings.

Find your local Forest Runner event at

Entry to the 5km event costs £20 and the 10km event costs £22.50, plus booking fees. 
£2 UK Athletics discount available. Prices include parking, Ts&Cs apply.

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