Keeping New Forest traditions alive

Published Wednesday 12 September 2007

The New Forest National Park Authority, the New Forest Centre and the Commoners’ Defence Association have formed a partnership to keep New Forest tradition alive for future generations.

The New Forest National Park Authority, the New Forest Centre and the Commoners’ Defence Association have formed a partnership to keep New Forest tradition alive for future generations with part funding from the New Forest LEADER+ Small Grants Scheme..

The ‘Living Register’ will be made up of memories, photographs, local words, Forest place names and stories. The Register will become a living record of the traditions and culture that have made the New Forest so unique through the centuries.

The Register will comprise of a dictionary of local words and place names, a digital catalogue of photographs, web pages and oral histories from local people about their lives and key events in New Forest history.

Jo Whapham, Research Manager for the project, said: ‘We want people who have any piece of information about the New Forest to let us know. It could be a photograph, a memory, or the story behind a place name. We are keen to collect life histories from as many Forest residents as we can.

‘I know when people first think about the New Forest, they tend to think of ponies, commoners and Foresters; of course we want to know about them, but we also  want to collect a ‘living history’ of the whole New Forest to help preserve its history for future generations.’

Emma Rigglesworth, Head of Sustainable Development, said: ‘If you have any local information on churches, villages, the Home Guard, place names, Forest folklore, gypsies and smugglers or anything else please contact the ‘Living Register.’’

One of the aims of the project is to create an interactive website of the New Forest’s cultural heritage for people to add their own information or ask questions about anything they have learnt from it.

The project will run for eight months until March 2008. It is hoped that further funding will be available after this date.

-ends-

Notes to Editors:
For further information contact Jo Whapham, at the National Park Authority.
Tel: 01590 626707
Email LivingRegister@btconnect.com

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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