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 #Trail Therapy 

Great for the mind  -  great for the body

It's proven that being active amongst nature is a highly effective way of improving mental wellbeing as well as physical health

But for lots of people it’s not easy to get out there to benefit from exploring the woodlands and countryside. Fear of getting lost, personal safety, lack of skills, confidence levels, or simply not having anyone to go with are amongst the reasons for this. 

We’re very passionate about helping people overcome these barriers and have been on a mission to introduce people to the joys of what's become known as ‘trail therapy’ through the activities we organise. It’s been a real pleasure to watch the fitness, confidence and wellbeing of many of our participants grow as a result, and for strong friendships to develop amongst them. 


Following the help of a National Forest Society Grant in 2023, we are delighted to be able to increase the number of #TrailTherapy running and walking offerings across the National Forest area via training up a team of friendly and knowledgeable Trail Therapy Leaders to support our activities. Meet them here.

Can't afford Trail Therapy? We want our Trail Therapy activities to be as accessible as possible and we understand that money can be a barrier to taking part in activities when times are tough. If you need to, please use the code - FREETRAILTHERAPY - in the coupon box at checkout to fully discount your session. Please note that this code will not work for bRUNch Club or Walking, Talking, Tuesdays; if you would like to enquire about a free session at these, please contact us at and we'll be happy to help.

If you have a question, jump to our FAQs or feel free to contact us if you cannot find the answer.

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bRUNch Club

Every Thursday (National Forest) / Last Tuesday of month (Staffs/West Mids)

Regular weekday morning off-road outings on scenic trails at a relaxed 'chatty' pace, starting at 9:45am. These sessions are as much about the mind as the body. They are a perfect way to de-stress and connect with nature in some beautiful green spaces, amongst a friendly and supportive group.

The runs take around an hour going at a pace that is comfortable for everyone in the group. Distances range from 6.5k to 8k. There are likely to be some moderate hills on most runs and you may encounter some muddy sections. 

We cater for all paces but we recommend that, for the running group, you are capable of completing parkrun or the equivalent distance (5km /3 miles) in around 40 mins or less . If you're not quite at that point yet, we've introduced a RIKE group on the Thursday sessions most weeks (as marked with an * below). This is aimed
at those that are newer to running, looking to build confidence or coming back from injury, and will consist of mostly hiking and talking, with short bursts of easy running when the terrain allows.

The regular bRUNch group starts at 9:45am, so please arrive in good time to register and access the facilities. When there is a RIKE group this will leave 15 minutes earlier than the regular bRUNch so that everyone finishes at a similar time ready to socialise afterwards, should you wish to. If you'd like to join the walk-jog group, please arrive in good time for a 9:30am start.



  • 9:45am, Thursday 2nd May at Barton Marina (nr the Marina Cafe), DE13 8DZ (PLEASE NOTE: There will be a walk group instead of a RIKE group this week)

  • * 9:45am, Thursday 9th May at Staunton Harold Garden Centre (car park), LE65 1RU

  • * 9:45am, Thursday 16th May at Donisthorpe Woodlands Centre (The Pavilion), DE12 7PX

  • * 9:45am, Thursday 23rd May at The Maple Leaf Community Cafe, Repton Village Hall, Askew Grove, DE65 6GR

  • * 9:45am, Thursday 30th May ** FIFTH THURSDAY OF THE MONTH SPECIAL @ Wellie-Deli, Woodland Farm, 50 Ashby Rd, Newbold Coleorton, Leicester, Coalville LE67 8PB **

(* On these weeks the Thursday RIKE group will set off 15 minutes earlier and so please meet in good time for a 9:15am to leave for 9:30am)

WEST MIDS/STAFFS: (Tuesday bRUNch Club is once a month, meeting on the last Tuesday of the month, for a 9:30am start)

** We're having a little break! Next session TBA **

£4 per session or 10-pass plan available

Walking, Talking, Tuesdays


Join Debs - aka Shorty - & co. for exactly what it says on the tin, taking place on alternative Tuesday mornings.

Meeting at 9:15am ready for a prompt 9:30am start, we'll be rotating our meeting location and routes each alternate Tuesday. The meeting locations (with the exception of Repton) will be the same as those we use for our Thursday bRUNch Club sessions and so those of you who are familiar with bRUNch Club will know that we may encounter muddy sections, moderate hills and one or two stiles to climb on the walks... This all adds to the adventure! The distance of each WTT will be approximately 5 miles.

You can expect plenty of scenic trails, opportunity to 'connect' to nature and good conversation with the leaders and fellow walkers. As you'll be guided on the walk by trained leaders, these sessions are a great opportunity to safely build your knowledge of the trails in South Derbyshire, whilst building fitness at the same time.

As well as the practical benefits (learning the ins and outs of the trails) and physical benefits (improving fitness and building muscle strength), walking is well-known to have positive effects on mental health too, increasing feelings of happiness and helping us to feel "grounded". And so Walking, Talking, Tuesdays are opporunity to do just that; walk, talk and reconnect to yourself, to others and to the great outdoors!



  • 9:30am, Tuesday 14th May at Donisthorpe Woodlands Centre (The Pavilion), DE12 7PX

  • 9:30am, Tuesday 28th May at Staunton Harold Garden Centre (car park), LE65 1RU

£4 per session or 10-pass plan available



As and when more #TrailTherapy activities are planned, we'll add them here.



How fit do I need to be?

If you are joining an activity that has a walk option, you just need to be capable of walking the distance at a relaxed pace, be able to climb over any stiles on the route and be okay with ground that may be a little uneven or muddy in places.

For running activities, if you are able to complete parkun or equivalent distance (5k/3-miles) in 45--mins or less you should be fine. Although some activities are a bit further, such as our Thursday bRUNch Club. We tend to walk any challenging hills and have plenty of stops to take in the surroundings and let everyone get their breath back. 

The emphasis on #TrailTherapy activities is to enjoy exercise in natural surroundings, with a friendly and supportive group of folk, rather than to push anyone to go faster than would be comfortable. Our leaders will make sure nobody gets left behind.

Will I be able to keep up?

Yes, we never go faster than is comfortable for everyone in the group. We usually have at least 2 leaders, so if there is a need we can split into two groups to enable participants to walk/jog with others of a similar ability level. 

At our regular bRUNch Club we often split into two or three groups (depending on numbers!) so that everyones pace can be accommodated for, including a RIKE group, which is mostly hiking with bursts of easy running when the terrain allows.

What kit will I need?

Generally just clothing and footwear that is suitable for the activity (walk or jog) and the weather conditions. This should include a waterproof jacket to keep you warm if we have to stop for any reason, as well as to keep you dry if it rains.

We also recommend:

  • Grippy shoes (either off-road running shoes or walking boots if walking), especially if it is wet or there has been a lot of rain in the previous few days.

  • Carrying a drink if it is a warm day.

  • Having a snack in your pocket in case you have an energy dip. 

  • A head-torch for evening events where it is dark, or gets dark during the activity.

Are there any age limits?

There are no upper age limits. 

For jogging activities participants must be 12 or above but those under 18 must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian throughout the activity.

For walking activities we allow younger people that are capable of walking the distance unaided, but they must be accompanied and supervised by a parent or guardian throughout the activity, and no more than 2 children per parent/guardian are allowed. 

Can I bring my dog?

We can only take dogs by prior arrangement, and will often have to turn requests down. This is not because we don't like dogs (we love them!), it's simply because dogs can become a hazard, particularly if routes go close to farm animals, and they can cause stress to other participants who are nervous around dogs.  

Can I run with a buggy?

Most of the routes aren't suitable for buggies due to encountering stiles and/or uneven ground. However, if you'd love to be able to participate with a buggy, please do let us know. If we find there is enough demand, we'll look at organising some buggy friendly activities going forwards.



Thanks to the support from the National Forest we're delighted to have been able to recruit 8 new volunteer leaders from within the local community to help us provide more Trail Therapy activities.  To find out more about them click on the image.

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