Mosaic BME

New Forest placement

To help them understand what life and work is like in the New Forest, Mosaic Community Champions are encouraged to consider spending time with local people. This is what Ann did: first with a Forestry Commission Ranger, and then with two people from the New Forest Association.

On Saturday 21 January 2012, I met Sandy Shore at Brockenhurst Station around 9.15am on a mild winter's day. She took me over to Head Office at Queen's House in Lyndhurst to show me the Forestry Commission’s office.  We had a cup of tea while she briefed me on Health & Safety Procedures.  I was also shown a map of the entire New Forest and how it has been divided up and allocated to the rangers. We then drove for about 10 minutes where we met up with a group of volunteers who were already busy scanning the heath for new pine trees and removing them from amongst the heather. We joined this party of volunteers and worked for about one and a half hours before stopping for a tea break. During this time I got to ask a lot of questions, and the volunteers seemed very interested in speaking to me, and wanted to know about life in London. 

Sandy spent a lot of time with me walking through the forest, showing and explaining about the different types of trees and plants (e.g. I didn't realise there were two different types of pine trees). We also went over to Beaulieu Road Pony Compound where the ponies are rounded up and sold. 

While we were walking through the forest we came across a fox hunt, Sandy happened to know one of the men in the hunting party, so they stopped and had a chat with us. I was very impressed by all of the pomp and ceremony. 

Later in the afternoon we went over by the deer park and spent some time there observing the herd.  While driving around we came across the plaque to F.W. Frohawk, who did a lot of research on the Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly. 

The job of the ranger is a very busy one, and the nature of the work varies from day to day.  During the afternoon Sandy got a call from one of the rangers to say that a woman was out walking her dogs without a lead, and they saw some deer and chased after them, about an hour later she still wasn't able to fine them. We spent a while driving around looking for them, and eventually we found them. 

I enjoyed the day out with Sandy in the New Forest, and it has added a lot to my experience of the New Forest.

On Sunday 22 January, around 10.00am I met Peter & Georgina at Brockenhurst Station.  We went over to a local cafe in Brockenhurst to have a cup of tea and to chat about what I had done on the Saturday (so as not to duplicate what I had already covered the previous day).  We then drove over to the caravan park in Lyndhurst and spent over an hour walking in the forest over there. I was told that this was the biggest and most popular Caravan Park in the forest, the trees in this part of the forest were very big and had clearly been around for a long time.  Moving on from there we then went over and visited a plantation owned by the crown. Again, the weather was very mild for a winter’s day, and I enjoyed being out in the forest.  Peter and Georgina are very knowledgeable about the forest, and they both spent a lot of time explaining about the flora and fauna in the area.  We also came across a willow plantation owned by a friend of theirs; he makes wooden ornaments, and other household items with the wood. Around 1.00pm we had lunch at a local pub in Lyndhurst. 

During the afternoon we came across a farmers market in the local community centre, so we stopped and did a bit of shopping (I was able to pick-up some bees wax for making my own creams, and some homemade gluten free sausages).  Following this we then went over to St. Michael’s & All Angel’s church yard to visit the grave where Alice Hargreaves is buried (the woman who Alice in Wonderland was named after). 

Later in the afternoon we went for a long walk through Burley. This area is very beautiful, and the terrain is a bit uneven in places, but I really enjoyed seeing this area of the forest.  Peter & Georgina then invited me back to their home for a cup of tea, and I also got to see the books they have written and published.  I am really grateful to Peter and Georgina for taking the time to show me around the forest. They were very generous and kind and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. 

I am appreciative, and grateful to Clare Taylor, Mosaic, and the individuals who showed me around the forest for making this placement possible.

Ann Ryan

  1. Mosaic BME
  2. Final celebration
  3. Annual event 2011
  4. Diary of a visit
  5. Beaulieu visit
  6. Mosaic group leaders’ visit
  7. Chinese visit spring 2010
  8. Ladies day out
  9. More trips and events
  10. New Forest placement (you are here)

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