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Top New Forest videos from 2014

It’s been a bumper year for videos in the New Forest National Park with more than 156,000 views in 2014 on our YouTube channel. Communications Officer Sion Donovan takes a look at his top five videos uploaded in 2014. 

5. Ponies make a comeback

This video marks the return of ponies and cattle to two sites in New Milton – 50 years since they last grazed there. Barton Common and Ballard Water Meadows are now home to New Forest ponies and Dexter cattle thanks to New Milton Town Council, with support from the New Forest Land Advice Service and Natural England.

As both areas are Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs), grazing has been re-introduced to improve habitats for plants, insects and other wildlife and encourage traditional New Forest commoning. It also saves money by reducing the need for an annual vegetation cut.

The rare Dartford warbler has since been recorded at Barton Common for the first time in more than 10 years.

4. Time-traveling Victorians

A world of boneshakers, penny farthings and charabancs was brought to life in this video thanks to some time traveling Victorian “characters”.

Costumes, sepia toned effects and some questionable acting skills helped highlight the month-long Transport through the Ages exhibition at the New Forest Centre back in May. The exhibition proved to be one of the most popular at the centre in recent years. 

3. The secrets of Ashley Walk

It’s almost hard to believe now, but 70 years ago the New Forest was home to a secret test site where the biggest British bomb ever dropped was first tested.

The Grand Slam weighed more than 22,000lbs and was designed by bouncing bomb inventor Barnes Wallis to penetrate the ground and send shockwaves to damage enemy buildings.

It was first tested at Ashley Walk on a target building, nicknamed the ‘Sub Pen’ by locals because of its likeness to German submarine pens. 

In January our New Forest Remembers World War II team joined Wessex Archaeology to survey the site using ground penetrating radar and electrical imaging to discover what remains of the ‘Sub Pen’ buried under the landscape.

2. Laser mapping 

Ancient secrets from the New Forest are being revealed thanks to high-tech images beamed back by lasers from aircraft.

This video highlights how Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging technology) has been used to help uncover more than 3,500 new archaeological sites and monuments in the New Forest National Park, including Bronze Age burial mounds and Iron Age hill forts.

The Lidar project was funded by the Higher Level Stewardship scheme, a partnership between us, the Verderers of the New Forest and the Forestry Commission.

1. Young David Attenborough discovers the Tech Crèche

This was our most popular video of 2014. The tongue in cheek video showed a young “David Attenborough” discovering the New Forest Tech Crèche – a safe place for visitors to leave their car keys and gadgets before exploring the National Park without a car.

The David Attenborough impression was provided by comedian Phil Cornwell, as part of our summer campaign to promote a car-free and tech-free break in the New Forest.

The playful campaign attracted plenty of views, tweets and media reports, inspiring people to take a short break away from the modern world. The publicity generated also helped boost passenger numbers for the open-top New Forest Tour. In the week after the campaign launch, passenger numbers were up by 30% compared to the same period in 2013.

This entry was posted by Communications on Tuesday 30/12/2014

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