Working with local communities to increase wildlife

Published Friday 30 November 2012

A one year pilot project to encourage local communities to identify wildlife habitats such as grassland, hedgerows, ponds, rivers and woodland is now looking for volunteers.

The project will focus on the areas of Godshill, Hordle, Landford, Marchwood, Milford on Sea, New Milton and Wellow to develop community wildlife plans.

The New Forest National Park Authority will work with these local groups to encourage greater involvement in recording, mapping and conserving wildlife.

Angela Peters, who previously worked at the National Trust in Dorset, has just taken up the position of Community Wildlife Plans Project Officer at the National Park Authority: ‘This is such a great project to be involved in,’ she said. ‘I’m looking forward to working with local community and volunteer groups and to provide training to increase people’s skills and confidence in surveying plants and animals.

‘When we have this new information I will be working with these groups to investigate how to improve their green spaces for wildlife.’

Keith Metcalf, Parish Clerk at Milford on Sea Parish Council, said: ‘We are looking forward to working closely with Angela. There is a wealth of wildlife on our doorstep and it is a great opportunity for local people to work together to increase green spaces where they live and to encourage youngsters to become the custodians of our local wildlife heritage.’

Angela is looking for people with an interest in animals, flowers, birds, bats or bees to become ‘wildlife champions’.

There is also an opportunity for map work, data collection and getting involved with community events, walks, talks and practical conservation work.

For more information about this project or to find out how get involved visit


Notes to Editors:

Funding has been secured from a European fund called RDPE (Leader) - a European-wide initiative launched in 1991 to provide rural communities with the funding to find local solutions to local needs. The project is hosted by the New Forest National Park Authority, and has been set up by the New Forest Land Advice Service.

About the New Forest Land Advice Service

The New Forest Land Advice Service is available to landowners and occupiers who would like advice and support on a wide range of issues relating to land management. The advisors operate across the National Park, the Avon Valley and the coastal plain. Since the service started in 2010 it has advised more than 300 businesses.

The service offers:

  • A free and independent service for the land managing community in and around the New Forest and Avon Valley
  • Support for landowners, farmers, New Forest Commoners, equine owners, graziers and community groups
  • Advice to anyone who owns or manages a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) in the area
  • A small grant scheme which can support capital works which benefit the landscape, biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area.

To find out more about the New Forest Land Advice Service, or arrange a visit, please call 01590 646696 or email

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contacts:
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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