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Arctic explorer: kids need woodland adventures

Conservation charity the Woodland Trust has teamed up with arctic explorer Dwayne Fields to encourage families to have a woodland adventure this Boxing Day.

The Trust has highlighted its top 5 urban woods, plus ways to find woods that are free and open for all. It has also suggested top activities for families to try their hand at while setting out into winter wonderlands.

Arctic explorer and adventurer Dwayne Fields said:

“I love woods in the winter. It’s the perfect time to take in great lungfuls of fresh cold air, and set out over crisp frozen ground. With over a thousand woods that are free to visit across the UK, Woodland Trust sites are a great place to start your own mini explorations.

“So be brave this Boxing Day; venture out, experience something new and take time to appreciate the woods near you. There’s a lot of woods near town and city centres – you just need to look for them. Families and children deserve to experience forests… the perfect, belated Christmas present.”

Dwayne Fields is encouraging families to explore this Boxing Day (Photo: Dwayne Fields)
Dwayne Fields is encouraging families to explore this Boxing Day (Photo: Dwayne Fields)

Top urban woods owned by the Woodland Trust:

  1. In the North of England, Big Wood near Runcorn is a former landscaped garden. A surfaced path makes it great for buggies and wheelchairs, plus nearby streams provide the perfect spot for watching wildlife.
  1. Hardwick Wood in the centre of Plymouth, Devon, is a calm oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s also home to beautiful ancient trees, foxes and buzzards.
  1. 13 miles south-east of central London is Joyden’s Wood. Perfect for modern city-dwellers, but with the chance to escape to bygone times with the remains of Iron Age roundhouses, medieval field boundaries and wartime bomb craters.
  1. In Northern Ireland, Prehen Wood is a stone’s throw from Derry Londonderry. Both long eared owls and red squirrels can be spotted flitting about the tree tops, when visitors aren’t gazing out over terrific city views.
  1. Lang Craigs, near Dumbarton in Scotland, is a stunning wood compiled of ancient and new woodland, sheltered glens, jagged outcrops and rugged moorland. It offers a sense of true wilderness, despite being just two miles from Dumbarton town centre.

This is just a selection of over 1,200 woods owned by the Trust – all of which are free and open for all. Other woods can be found by searching for a town or village on the Woodland Trust website:   

Top winter activities for when the trees are bare:

Nature Detectives is the Trust’s family membership scheme which provides ideas for families to get outside and have fun. To learn more, and to find free online activity ideas, go to:

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Notes to editors

For further information contact the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or email

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims: i) protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable, ii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life, iii) plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,200 sites in its care covering over 22,500 hectares. Access to its woods is free.