Birds and a brew!

ground nesting birds

Published Monday 14 March 2016

With the start of the ground nesting bird season, New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire County Council Rangers will be hosting coffee mornings with a twist this spring.

The Observatory at Keyhaven, near Lymington, has been the base for a number of resident artists since its installation last year. Now walkers enjoying the sea wall are being invited to join rangers in this unique location for a coffee, chat and the chance to learn more about the wide variety of birds.

Rangers will have all the equipment needed to aid discovery; telescopes, bird models and a bird call sound box – plus they’ll be providing some welcome hot drinks for those braving the sea breeze in spring.

New Forest National Park and Hampshire County Council Rangers will be talking with people about the bird populations found here and in the wider Forest. Many of the species that can be seen are vulnerable to disturbance especially when nesting. The Rangers will be able to offer advice on how people can continue to enjoy the benefits of getting outdoors whilst still allowing the wildlife to thrive.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at New Forest National Park said: ‘The New Forest has one of the largest remaining areas of lowland heath in Europe and some fantastic coastal habitats. It is particularly important for birds which have adapted to nest on the ground and this coastal nature reserve is the best place to see feeding and roosting curlews, redshanks and lapwings. These species head inland to the heaths to breed so this is a great opportunity to learn about them before they go.’

Recent surveys show that the Forest continues to be a stronghold for rare species such as the Dartford Warbler. However, populations of curlew and lapwing are not as large as they were 10 years ago.

Rangers will be at The Observatory for four consecutive Wednesdays starting from 10am Wednesday 16 March until Wednesday 6 April, and also on two Thursdays 17 and 24 March. This includes the Easter holidays. Everyone is welcome.

Other events include a Discovery Day about New Forest Birds on Tuesday 29 March 10am-4pm at The New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, and a Doggy Fun Day organised for Saturday 9 April at Lepe County Park from 10am-3pm.

For more information and further events visit


Notes to Photo Editor:

A ranger at The Observatory on Keyhaven Marshes.

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 to find out more.

Media Contacts:

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

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