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The National Forest Company Secures Charitable Status and Announces a New Partnership with Forest Holidays

Wednesday, 4th May 2016

The National Forest Company (NFC), the body charged by government to lead the creation of The National Forest, has formally received charitable status and today announces the signing of a new partnership with Forest Holidays.

This significant development comes at an important time for The National Forest as it celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016.

The National Forest started to take shape in the early 1990s when the area was chosen to be the first forest to be created in England for 1,000 years.  In 1991, the Forest boundary was defined and tree planting began in earnest, with the NFC established as a government agency to oversee the creation of the Forest in 1995.

In its first 25 years, The National Forest has demonstrated how the planting of trees can boost the local economy, create new wildlife habitats and restore the landscape, improving the quality of life for those who live and work here.  With more than eight and a half million trees planted and forest cover trebled from 6% to more than 20%, The National Forest stands as a national exemplar of sustainable development.

The launch of the new charity is accompanied by a new partnership with Forest Holidays, an organisation which specialises in luxury short breaks in woodland settings across the country, and has its headquarters in the heart of The National Forest; Forest Holidays itself is ten years old this year.

John Everitt, the National Forest Company Chief Executive, said:  "Achieving charitable status is a major milestone for the National Forest Company and sets us up for the next 25 years of The National Forest project.  The Company will continue to be at the forefront of environmental regeneration, and moving to charitable status will enable us to be more entrepreneurial, innovative and flexible in our work. Our new partnership with Forest Holidays is a perfect example of this."

The new partnership will encourage Forest Holidays’ customers to make a donation to support The National Forest when booking a holiday in one of the forest lodges.  All donations will be used to help the creation and development of this multi-purpose forest at the heart of the country, transforming the landscape, economy and communities across parts of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

Bruce McKendrick, Chief Executive of Forest Holidays, said: "Forest Holidays is delighted to have formed a new partnership with the National Forest Company. We already contribute millions of pounds a year to support woodlands right across the UK and our whole team were massively keen to support this project which is not only local to our offices in Moira but has such national significance. The National Forest is visionary and on its 25 year anniversary it’s clear it has succeeded in creating a forest in one of the least wooded areas of the country, proving that sustainable investment has wide-reaching benefits. Forest Holidays absolutely shares The National Forest's aims of bringing communities together, improving habitats and ecosystems and supporting visitor, woodland and recreational economies. We are partners with the Forestry Commission and based exclusively on their land across the UK and our guests care about supporting the UK’s forest environments.  Now they have a chance to contribute towards this amazing project every time they book."

For more information on Forest Holidays see www.forestholidays.co.uk