February 3rd 2014


Air Cadets from Swadlincote have been digging deep to help install way marking posts for a new long distance footpath, the National Forest Way.

Over two weekends in February, the 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron cadets, in partnership with Groundwork Derby & Derbyshire, are installing yellow topped way marking posters along part of the new route, where it passes through Rosliston Forestry Centre, South Derbyshire.

The new National Forest Way long distance trail opens in May 2014, and takes walkers on a fascinating journey through a transforming landscape at the heart of the Midlands. The route takes in 75 miles of public and permissive footpaths, crossing the length and breadth of The National Forest from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire .

Sergeant Rob Charlesworth, the Squadron’s Duke of Edinburgh Award Officer said: “As part of the Volunteering section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, we often look for Projects for our cadets to get involved with and this one is right up our street.

“Swadlincote is in the heart of the National Forest and it is great to be involved with another project that helps develop our cadets, as well as supporting our local community”.

The way marking posts are 5 feet in length and when installed stand approximately 3 feet out of the ground. Despite the cold and windy conditions, the cadets have been digging hard and fast to install the posts, to ensure they are ready for the launch event in May.

Air Cadet Chloe Collins, aged 14 years, from Swadlincote said: “After the safety briefing, we split into groups and worked on installing the posts at different points on the route. My team had to dig through concrete, brick and mud layers before we could set the post. It was really hard work but we had fun doing it”.

Marion Farrell from the Groundwork group said: “Groundwork has worked with 1211 Squadron before and once again, I’ve been really impressed with how the cadets have got involved in this new Project and they are installing posts a lot quicker than I was expecting”.

In addition to actively participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, 1211 (Swadlincote) Sqn Air Cadets also offer a wide range of activities for young men and women aged between 13 and 20 years of age, including Flying, Gliding, Adventure Training and B-tec’s in Aviation Studies, Public Services and Music.

Anyone interested in joining the unit can visit the group on Tuesdays and Thursday nights from 7pm at their headquarters on Eureka Park, or visit their website at