New Forest celebrates National Parks Week

Published Wednesday 25 July 2007

England’s newest National Park will be celebrating National Parks Week from the 30 July-5 August with a variety of events aimed at all ages.

The theme of this years National Parks Week is ‘nature’s natural playground,’ promoting the diverse environments found in the 14 National Parks in the United Kingdom.

The New Forest National Park has several events organised in and round the week promoting the diverse habitats and landscapes found in the New Forest.

‘Life on the bog’ walk
National Parks Week kicks off in the New Forest on Sunday 29 July with the free event ‘Life on the bog’ walk, a three-mile walk on ‘International Bog Day,’ learning about and exploring the diverse wildlife and plants of the New Forest valley, mires and heath. The event will be led by Steve Trotter, Director of Conservation, Recreation and Sustainable Development. The event is from 10am-12midday meeting at Holmsley Lodge car park.

If you can’t make it on the 29 July don’t worry. The walk is being held again on Thursday 9 August from 10am-12midday meeting at Pig Bush car park. The event is suitable for children eight years and over and Wellington boots are essential. You must book in advance to attend this event.

Salt marsh, Solent and Shingle walk
On Sunday 5 August, Steve Trotter will once again be out exploring the New Forest National Park. This time he will be exploring the coastal area on a four-mile walk. The salt marsh, Solent and shingle walk is a chance for you to find out more about plants and wildlife around Hurst Spit and to discuss how climate change may affect the coast of the National Park.  You will also travel back through the reserve via the Hurst Ferry, providing another opportunity to see the unique wildlife that inhabits this area.

Steve Trotter said: ‘The shingle spit is a great venue to talk about the power of the sea and how our coast creates and erodes habitats. During the walk we should see a variety of birds including little terns and sandwich terns.’

This free event is from 10am-2pm, meeting at Milford-on-sea car park and promises to offer spectacular views of the Isle of Wight and the needles. There is a cost of £2.50 for the ferry and a charge for car parking. The event is suitable for children over eight years old. Dogs are welcome if they are on a short lead. Booking is essential.

Marine Medley
On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 August, Lepe Country Park will be home to a Marine Medley to celebrate south-east Marine Week 2007. The two-day event will be packed with self-led trails, ranger-led activities, beach art, shingle safari, the great plaice race, a National Park coastal treasure hunt and much, much more.  The ‘Cool Seas’ road show run by the Marine Conservation Society will be there on both days with inflatable sea animals to promote awareness of marine wildlife. There is also a competition with a chance to win a goody-bag full of marine inspired prizes.  

The daily activities start at 10am at Lepe Country Park, booking is not necessary, a small charge will apply for some activities and car parking charges apply.  Suitable outdoor clothing is advised as well as shoes that can get wet when exploring the beach. The event is open to all ages. It is not suitable to bring dogs to this event.

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer, New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We’re very excited to offer this packed programme of events during National Parks Week that will get people exploring and learning about the New Forest. Hopefully our events will have something that will appeal to everyone.’

It is necessary to book in advance for ‘Life on the bog’ walk and the salt marsh, Solent and shingle walk by either contacting the National Park on 01590 646600 or emailing enquiries@newforestnpa.gov.uk. More information about any of the events can be found at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk in the ‘what’s on’ section.

-ends-

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

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