Artists invited to register their interest in New Forest Arts Festival

Arts festival 2017 facebook cover photo

Published Wednesday 2 November 2016

Artists are invited to celebrate the New Forest’s landscape, culture and creative community at the New Forest Arts Festival.

The New Forest National Park Authority is asking artists, groups and venues to register their interest in getting involved in the Festival next year, which will run from 10 – 25 June.

In its first year the Festival attracted over 3,800 people, and included more than 40 events in over 20 locations. Events included a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a treehouse, an art exhibition hosted in a castle and a jewellery show in a pub.

The theme for next year’s Arts Festival is trees and woods. The Festival will take inspiration from the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, an important ‘bill of rights’ sealed in 1217 by King Henry III that ultimately established access to ‘Royal Forests’ such as the New Forest. The festival will also link to a new ‘Charter for woods, trees and people’ being developed nationally in recognition of the role trees and woods play in our lives. It is led by the Woodland Trust and events are taking place across the country throughout 2017.

The Arts Festival is one of 21 projects that form the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and led by the New Forest National Park Authority and 10 key partners.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre said: ‘The New Forest has a wealth of creative talent, producing artworks across a wide variety of media, inspired by our remarkable surroundings. Next June we are inviting everyone to discover more about the New Forest’s landscape and wildlife, through culture and arts.

‘I am very much looking forward to experiencing the Forest through the eyes of its creative communities, and I hope as many people as possible join us next summer.’

The Festival provides a platform under which artists and groups can promote their work to a broad audience, enabling residents and visitors to discover new aspects of the New Forest through a diverse range of events and art forms.

All art forms and events will be considered from painting, sculpture, crafts, film and photography to performance, literature, music, storytelling, talks, behind-the-scenes tours and workshops.

So whether you’re an artist, group or venue, please register your interest in taking part and being kept informed at

To stay up to date with the latest news and events, visit the Festival’s Facebook page at


Notes to Photo Editor:

The 2017 New Forest Arts Festival is taking place between 10 and 25 June 2017.

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


Our Past, Our Future

Our Past, Our Future is a Landscape Partnership Scheme for the New Forest which, supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, 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 five year scheme is being led by the New Forest National Park Authority working alongside several delivery and funding partners, including the New Forest Land Advice Service.

For more information on Our Past, Our Future visit

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @HLFSouthEast

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:
Beki Mole, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639

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