Help shape the New Forest’s future

Forest scenes by Mark Heighes

Published Wednesday 23 July 2014

The New Forest National Park Authority wants to find out your views about the New Forest to help develop a landmark scheme to ensure the National Park is fit to face future challenges.

Backed by 10 partners with 21 projects being planned, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has earmarked a £2.9m grant to restore lost habitats, develop Forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the Forest, under a scheme called Our Past Our Future.

Initially, HLF has awarded the partners a development grant to firm up the details of the projects during 2014 and 2015. The projects, ranging from apprenticeships to habitat restoration, and recording the Forest’s unique heritage, are planned to take place from 2015 to 2020.

As part of this work, consultants Resources for Change ( are carrying out research to help the partners understand:

  • what activities people like to do in the Forest
  • how people find out about the National Park’s landscape and heritage and what opportunities can be created to help them discover more
  • people’s attitudes and appetite for volunteering.

The results will guide the next phase of the Our Past, Our Future project so people from all walks of life can discover and be involved in caring for the New Forest’s heritage.

The consultants and rangers will be out at shopping centres around the edge of the National Park, the New Forest Show and at events, attractions and locations across the Forest throughout the summer, asking people their views.

Alternatively, you can take part in the survey online:

If you would like to be sent the results at the end of the survey, please email


Notes to editor:

About Our Past, Our Future

Our Past, Our Future is a Landscape Partnership Scheme for the New Forest which, supported by Heritage Lottery Funding, will undertake a range of projects to restore lost habitats, develop Forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the New Forest. The partnership focuses on the enclosed lands which surround the Open Forest.

The seven year scheme is being led by the New Forest National Park Authority working alongside several delivery and funding partners including the Beaulieu Estate, Commoners Defence Association, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Natural England, New Forest Centre, and the New Forest Land Advice Service.

These organisations will take collective responsibility for the delivery of the Programmes if we are successful with the Stage 2 application. The Landscape Partnership has been awarded a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to employ a project team that will work with the partners to develop and refine the initial Stage 1 bid for the Stage 2 submission in 2015. If this is successful, then the Delivery Phase of the Scheme will run from 2016 – 2020.

For more information on Our Past, Our Future visit

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 to find out more.

Media Contacts:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608

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