Schools go eco to benefit the New Forest


Published Thursday 18 December 2014

A project to help children across the New Forest make their school and local area more environmentally friendly has received a major funding boost.

Eco-Schools is the largest schools sustainability programme in the world and aims to inspire pupils through exciting activities, campaigns and projects taught within the national curriculum.

The scheme will be run in the New Forest by biologist and sustainability expert Gill Hickman, and is funded mainly through a £20,000 grant from the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF).

In total 16 schools will receive help to become more sustainable across nine areas, including litter, transport, healthy living, global citizenship and biodiversity. Teachers will be supported with advice, learning materials and workshops, while pupils will be involved in activities as diverse as bug surveys, recycling for charity and walk to school weeks.

Gill Hickman, said: ‘It’s so important that children know about recycling, healthy living, energy use and all other aspects of a sustainable life. By teaching the next generation about how their actions affect their local environment and the world, I hope they will take their own steps to solve problems that surround them.

‘I am really grateful for the support from the SCF. It is essential for this project, and without it the scheme would simply not be able to run. The National Park Authority has also been very helpful in providing great advice for this project.’

Almost £70,000 in grants were allocated by the SCF at its latest meeting, bringing in an additional £71,000 of match funding to the National Park area from other sources.

Other projects supported at the latest assessment include a project to restore the landscape around Walhampton Monument near Lymington, eco-lighting for a community centre in Hyde, and research into innovative new uses for traditionally cut wood.

The SCF is a grants scheme run by the New Forest National Park Authority that helps promote sustainable living and working within the National Park, with grants available for up to 75 per cent of a project’s cost.

You can apply for a grant if you’re  planning to launch or expand a project that supports:

  • cultural heritage
  • biodiversity
  • awareness of why the New Forest is special
  • engagement of people with the National Park
  • provision of local food and goods
  • reducing carbon emissions in the National Park
  • sustainable transport options including cycling facilities.

To find out more visit

To discuss applying for a grant please contact the grants officer on 01590 646634 or email


Notes to Photo Editor:

Children learning in the New Forest.

Notes to Editor:

Sustainable Communities Fund – funds available:

  • For projects requesting  £2,000 or less we can provide up to 100 per cent of project costs
  • For projects requesting over £2,000 we can provide up to 75 per cent of project costs (50 per cent for businesses)
  • Up to £50,000 is available for projects.
  • Funds for sustainable transport projects are provided by:
  • The ‘Two National Parks’ Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme. This £3.8 million of funding is being used to reduce the impact on traffic in the New Forest and South Downs national parks
  • The New Forest Family Cycling Experiences programme, a £3.57million fund to improve the experience for family cyclists in the New Forest National Park and grow the value of cycling to the local economy.

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 Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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