Discover wildlife with the New Forest National Park Authority in National Parks Week

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Published Friday 26 July 2013

Visitors to the New Forest Show next week are invited to celebrate National Parks Week and learn about wildlife and wild places at the New Forest National Park Authority stand.

With activities for all the family, visitors can find out about the New Forest’s special animals and plants, the places they live and how everyone can get out in the National Park to find out more.

The National Park Authority’s Community and Visitor Services Manager Nigel Matthews said: ‘The New Forest is a world capital for wildlife - certain species can only be found here and almost nowhere else in the UK.

‘We have the most ancient trees in western Europe, wide expanses of heathland which is rarer than rainforest, all six of the UK’s native reptiles, an estimated 2,700 different fungi, and 13 of the 18 UK bat species.’

The stand will show how the National Park Authority is working with other organisations to care for the New Forest and how everyone can get involved in keeping the Forest special for generations to come.

National Parks Week, from 29 July to 4 August, is an annual celebration of all that the 15 members of the UK's National Parks family have to offer and this year is focused on encouraging people to be active.

Minister for the Environment Richard Benyon said: ‘National Parks Week is a wonderful way of reminding us what we have on our doorsteps, and I hope that as many people as possible take the opportunity to visit their nearest National Park and enjoy the beautiful scenery and activities on offer.’

You can hear his words of support here:

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Recent surveys have shown that an impressive 93 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the National Parks are areas of national importance.

Visitors to the National Park stand at the Show can enter a draw to help them explore the National Park with prizes including a stay at Daisybank Cottage Boutique B&B in Brockenhurst; motorboat hire from Aquasafe of Lymington; New Forest Tour tickets; and vouchers for New Forest Marque produce.

As well as the New Forest Show activities, National Parks Week events in the New Forest include:

  • On now until September: An open art exhibition at the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, which celebrates the spectacular landscape across the seasons. More information: 023 8028 3444.
  • Every day to 31 August: A date with nature. See nesting hobbies (rare birds of prey) via our live nest-cams and look for reptiles just outside, chat to the experts and get the lowdown on the New Forest’s native wildlife. No booking required. Visit the New Forest Reptile Centre, off the A35 near Lyndhurst, from 10.30am to 4pm. Enquiries: 01273 775333.
  • 30 July and 1 August: Free Family Discovery Days looking at insects. Themed trails, quizzes and craft activities for all the family. Just drop in to the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst between 10am and 4pm. More information: 023 8028 3444.

For those who can’t make it to the New Forest Show and celebrate National Parks Week, find out more about New Forest wildlife at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/wildlife.

-ends-

Notes to Editor:

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.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646608

Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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