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Walkers map and guide to Charnwood Forest 1:25,000 - isbn-978-1-7395014-0-2

This map is based upon Ordnance Survey open data, with careful selection of information available omitting details of little relevance to walkers. The addition of material locally surveyed by Roy Denney, our Editor, shows pubs, tearooms and permissive footpaths, many of which are not on the OS map, as well as open access areas. The result is an easy-to-read, uncluttered map showing only what walkers need to see.

Charnwood Forest is Britain’s unexpected upland. Having begun its journey nearly 600 million years ago in the seas of the southern hemisphere, this very special region has continued to develop rich layers of heritage. We are home to some of the oldest animal fossils ever described and have quarries whose stone has shaped not only our quiet villages, but also many English cities. Our landscape is defined by crag-topped hills, wooded valleys, heathlands, and grasslands. Shaded lanes reveal Arts and Craft cottages, ancient monasteries, and drystone walls.

The oldest rocks in the Charnwood Forest Geopark are from the Ediacaran period including layers of volcanic ash deposited in an ancient deep sea. It is these layers that form the craggy outcrops that define the landscapes of sites like Bradgate Park, Beacon Hill, and the Outwoods. These 560-million-year old strata also contain a number of fossils that are now known to be some of the first animals that evolved which, first discovered in the 1950’s, fundamentally changed our understanding of evolution, having been found in rocks that were previously thought to be too old to contain fossils.

This map was instigated a few years ago and won a number of international awards. This, the third edition has been updated for changes on the ground and is now covering an extended area.

A lottery grant has allowed us to use the usually blank reverse to create a guide which gives a taste of the geology, history, archaeology, palaeontology, biology, etc., and includes some suggested walks covering these topics. One explores the built heritage, another, watercourses providing wildlife corridors. Others show great vantage points or pockets of apparent isolation and many show the rewilding of areas of industrial dereliction and decline. The walks and accompanying photographs were collated by Roy with help from other members and local walkers.

This map as launched as the XIth International ProGEO Symposium took place in Loughborough, organised by the Charnwood Forest Geopark . (The International Association for the Conservation of Geological Heritage)

Charnwood Forest Geopark is making a case for accreditation as a U.N.E.S.C.O. Global Geopark which will attract visitors from all over the world.

The map and guide is on the market at only £6.99 because of lottery support- it is available from several tourist information offices, visitor centres or online from

(Members see members pages for alternate arrangements)


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