Award winning volunteer to open New Forest fair

new forest show 2015

Published Tuesday 12 January 2016

This year’s expanded New Forest Volunteer Fair is set to be opened by the National Parks UK young volunteer of the year.

Karl Epps from Totton received the prestigious national award after impressing the judges with his work as a volunteer with the New Forest National Park Authority over the last two years.

Now Karl, a wheelchair user, is set to welcome a record 40 organisations to this year’s fair, where local people can follow his lead and change their lives through volunteering.

Hundreds are expected to attend the free fair from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday 30 January at Lyndhurst Community Centre. Organisations taking part include the RNLI, Exbury Gardens, Hampshire Scouts and the National Trust.

Opportunities on offer at the fair include recording wildlife, inspiring youngsters, restoring landscapes and helping some of society’s most vulnerable.

As well as helping local communities and the environment, volunteering is also good for volunteers, helping people find friends, reach out to the community, improve our mental and physical wellbeing and even advance our careers.

Karl is a Campaign for National Parks Mosaic Young Champion and has done a variety of volunteering roles, from helping to maintain gardens, to assisting in office work, to interacting with the general public.

Karl said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when I was told I’d won this award – I thought someone was playing a joke on me!

‘Volunteering helps other people out, keeps me busy and gives me something to look forward to. I’ve done all sorts of volunteering over the years, including working on a farm and helping visitors to the New Forest Show.

‘Volunteering is great – anyone interested should definitely give it a go. It makes you believe in yourself and helps you realise your own potential in life, it certainly did for me. The volunteer fair is the perfect way for people to get started. Come along, have a look around and find an opportunity that suits you.’

To find out more about the New Forest Volunteer Fair visit

For more on Campaign for National Parks' Mosaic project visit


Picture caption:

National Parks UK young volunteer of the year, Karl Epps, at the 2015 New Forest Show.

Notes to editor:

A full list of organisations attending the New Forest Volunteer Fair

  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Blackwater Conservation Group
  • Citizens Advice New Forest
  • Community First New Forest
  • Forestry Commission
  • Exbury Gardens
  • Forestry Commission
  • Friends of New Forest Airfields
  • Girlguiding Foxlease
  • Hampshire County Council Access Team
  • Hampshire Conservation Volunteers
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
  • Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • Hampshire Scouts
  • Hampshire Search and Rescue
  • Hampshire Art for Recreation and Therapy
  • Healthwatch Hampshire
  • The Knoll Gardens Foundations
  • Maritime Archaeology Trust
  • Milford Conservation Volunteers
  • Minstead Training Trust
  • Furzey Gardens Charitable Trust
  • National Coastwatch Institution
  • Natural England
  • National Trust
  • New Forest Area Conservation Volunteers
  • New Forest Association
  • New Forest Centre
  • New Forest Food Challenge
  • New Forest Marathon
  • New Forest National Park Authority: Our past, our future
  • New Forest National Park Authority: Inclusive cycling
  • New Forest Nightstop
  • New Forest Mencap
  • The New Forest Trust
  • Patrick's Patch at Fairweather's Garden Centre
  • Pondhead Conservation Trust
  • Ramblers Association
  • The RAF Ibsley Airfield Heritage Trust
  • RNLI
  • RSPB
  • Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
  • South Wiltshire Paths Group
  • SS Shieldhall
  • Victim Support
  • Woodlander Hoburne Bashley

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:

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

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