If you go down to the woods today…

…you’re sure of a good picture or two.

Woodland photography is something that we both enjoy and both always jump at the chance to take part in. That’s why when we saw that Rosliston Forestry Centre, Derbyshire, was holding a photography walk we crawled out of bed early on a cold Sunday morning to join in the fun.

Rosliston is in the heart of the National Forest in the Midlands. Set over 3 counties (Staffordshire, Derbyshire & Leicestershire for anyone interested) the National Forest set out to transform 200 square miles of land and make a large forested area in the centre of England. It was designed over  20 years ago to show the benefits that having woodland near where people work and live can have. Now, more than 200,000 people live in this forest and it’s within 90 minutes journey time for around 10 million people. We are two of those 10 million people with the National Forest being right on our doorsteps.

Although we are local, Rosliston Forestry Centre is not somewhere we had visited before today so we had no idea what to expect.  Initially developed between 1993 and 1997 Rosliston, situated in South Derbyshire, has a mix of woodland, fishing areas, walk and cycle routes (including cycle hire) along with plenty of things to keep little ones happy and a cafe.


The event we attended was a Photography walk which was part of the ‘Get Active in the Forest’ scheme which links in with a national scheme ‘Walking for Health’.

‘Get active in the Forest’ is an outdoor programme based at the Forestry Centre which encourages people to take part in sport and physical activity in the forest. It’s designed to be fun at the same time as you burn off the calories. The events are varied and are designed for beginners to be able to join in.

‘Walking for health’ on the other hand is a national network of walks designed to improve the health of the population and getting people leading a more active lifestyle. The initiative is run by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support and has been going for over 14 years. There are 1,800 weekly walks across the country which are supported by specially trained volunteers who make sure no one gets left behind. If a walk like this sounds like something you’d be interested in, or if you want more information, you can search for ones near you by visiting https://www.walkingforhealth.org.ukIMG_0574

Our event was led by 3 professional photographers and some Walking for Health volunteers. All of these individuals were lovely – and true to their word no one did get left behind (even when we stopped to take photos at the back of the pack, the walk volunteer patiently waited for us to be ready to move on – we certainly were not rushed at all).

The photographer we were grouped with was friendly and patient with everyone; making use of his knowledge of the area by stopping regularly to point out things we may not have seen and sharing his knowledge of his craft by giving helpful bits of advice to people as they may have needed it through the walk.

The walk was scheduled to be an hour and a half but ended up taking 2 hours (nobody really seemed to mind!) and we got some fantastic shots. We’ve picked out our top 3 favourites each to share with you:


Edits IMG_0486Edits IMG_0573Edits IMG_0552



At the end of the walk, we then stopped off at the cafe, muddy boots and all, to warm up with a drink and a delicious Bacon Butty! It certainly did have a friendly atmosphere, even when it was full of hungry photographers (and others using the centre – it seems a popular place for cyclists on a Sunday morning ride).

Overall we really enjoyed the walk and could certainly recommend the forest to anyone whos in the area to go and visit.

Even if you’re not local enough to visit Rosliston or the National Forest, we suggest that you go and visit a forest near you – with our without your camera – and go and see what the British Countryside has to offer, you never know what you might discover.

If you’ve got any pictures you want to share of your visits to the forests, feel free to share them in the comments, or on our facebook page (facebook.com/handlpresent) – we’d love to see them.

For more information on anything we’ve mentioned in our post:

Rosliston Forestry Centre (including ‘Get Active in the Forest’): http://www.roslistonforestrycentre.co.uk/

The National Forest


Walking for Health:



3 thoughts on “If you go down to the woods today…

  1. Just for your information the link to the walking for Health webpage should have a fullstop after the www instead of a comma. The link doesn’t follow through currently, although the one at the bottom of the page does.


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