Volunteering celebrated at national parks conference

Published Monday 14 October 2013

Volunteers in the New Forest contributed a staggering 6,250 hours to national park projects in the last financial year, and now a national conference has met to discuss ways to increase participation

Led by the New Forest National Park Authority, volunteering coordinators from national parks across the UK met in Lyndhurst last week to discuss best practice and ways to encourage more people to get involved.

Delegates also attended a field trip to discover more about one of the New Forest National Park Authority’s most successful volunteer projects, New Forest Remembers – Untold Stories of World War II. This World War II archiving venture includes members of the public helping to collect memories and information about wartime New Forest.

Volunteers have also been extensively involved in an innovative archaeological laser mapping project in the New Forest, going out on the ground to inspect a large number of suspected historical locations identified through the laser mapping technique and helping to discover more than 3,500 new archaeological sites and monuments.

Lead Ranger Gillie Hayball said: ‘Volunteering is a great way for people to help protect and conserve their local surroundings. The importance of volunteers to the National Park cannot be over-stated. Without them the number of projects we undertake each year would be significantly reduced.

‘Volunteering can also be useful for learning new skills, meeting like-minded people and enjoying the outdoors.’

To learn more about volunteering in the New Forest National Park, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/volunteering.

-ends-

About New Forest Remembers – untold stories of World War II

‘New Forest Remembers - untold stories of World War II’ is a Heritage Lottery Fund project. It is hosted by the New Forest National Park Authority, and supported by a wide range of organisations, including ExxonMobil and English Heritage, both financially and through staff time.

The project is carrying out essential archaeological surveying of part of the New Forest National Park including an airborne infra-red LiDAR survey (light detection and ranging), mapping work and field surveys.

An outreach programme is being designed to encourage local communities, groups and organisations to get involved. Teaching resources and educational activities will also be developed to link World War II archaeology with the National Curriculum.

If you have your own story for the New Forest Remembers Project, you can contact the team at 01590 646600, email archaeology@newforestnpa.gov.uk or write to New Forest Remembers, New Forest National Park Authority, Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG.

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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