New Forest Arts Festival closes this weekend

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Published Thursday 23 June 2016

Outdoor performances, inclusive workshops and a diverse range of exhibitions have already taken place, but the first New Forest Arts Festival isn’t over yet.

There are many events still to come before the Festival concludes this weekend (25 and 26 June), including a free showcase day at Lyndhurst Community Centre between 11am and 3pm on Saturday (25 June). The day will feature demonstrations and workshops from artists involved in the Festival and art works produced during the two weeks.

Led by the New Forest National Park Authority with local creative organisations, the Festival celebrates the Forest’s landscape and culture through a variety of art forms.

Over 40 events are taking place across the two weeks, encouraging visitors and residents to engage with the New Forest’s rich creative community and explore new parts of the Forest.

Events that have taken place include a workshop creating art from rubbish, a celebration of New Forest toymaker Frank Whittington and a willow workshop creating Forest creatures.

Many of the events within the Festival are free or discounted thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding, making them accessible for families of all ages, children, adults with learning disabilities and the more mature generation. Some of the free events on offer included relaxation workshops with hArt, the chance to help create a land art installation and an evening of music by ‘Empty Frets’.

The Festival is also enabling local art groups to open their doors to the public and get them involved in what they do. Brockenhurst art group ‘Let’s Paint’ was able to hold a two day art exhibition at Brockenhurst Village Hall on 18 and 19 June and offered visitors the chance to try out their own skills at free taster sessions.

Events still to come this Saturday (25 June) include an evening performance by tribute band ‘Free’s Company’ at Forest Arts Centre, a concert by Southampton Brass Ensemble at Thorney Hill near Bransgore and it is also the last chance to see short films at Forest Arts Centre titled ‘The Changing Seasons of the New Forest’.

On Sunday (26 June) there will be a concert by Lymington Town Band in the Fuller-McLellan Hall at the Lymington Community Centre and workshops with Tidal arts and crafts will be running at Hanger Farm.

For more information about the events during the closing weekend, please visit the Arts Festival website at

Organisers are already looking how the Festival can evolve next year. To express interest in sponsoring the Festival please contact Hilary Makin on 01590 646608 or

The New Forest Arts Festival is one of many projects within a Heritage Lottery Fund scheme called Our Past Our Future, led by the New Forest National Park Authority with 10 key partners.


Notes to Photo Editor:

Image courtesy of B. Philpot, Visual Marks.

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest Arts Festival

The New Forest Arts Festival is one of many projects within a Heritage Lottery Fund scheme called Our Past Our Future, led by the New Forest National Park Authority with 10 key partners.

Over the next four years it will help protect and enhance the landscape, develop Forest skills and encourage residents and visitors to discover and safeguard the Forest’s fascinating heritage. More details at

This is the first year of the Arts Festival, with around 40 events inviting people to celebrate the New Forest National Park’s landscape, culture and creative community. Many of the events are in unusual venues and there are many opportunities to take part.


Media Contacts:

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646639


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