The Forest of Burnley was created between 1997 and 2001 when one million trees were planted in the borough establishing 400 hectares of new mostly native woodland and a 2,000-tree arboretum of special trees. The forest adds immeasurably to the beautiful countryside surrounding the town and gives both walking enthusiasts and other visitors the chance to take in the fresh air in a beautiful setting. Management of the woodland has created over 32 kilometres of new bridleways, cycle routes, footpaths and sculpture trails at Towneley, Sycamore Park, Grove Lane, Dunnockshaw and Rowley for people to enjoy. At Cliviger a spectacular walk leads by ponds and streams, through mature woodland to new planting at Thieveley and the moors and crags beyond.
A series of walking leaflets have been created to encourage people into the green spaces and in early autumn a Heritage and Woodland Festival takes place at Towneley as a celebration of the countryside and woodlands of Burnley.