Television star backs volunteer fair


Published Monday 5 December 2016

Wildlife presenter Simon King is inviting budding volunteers to change their lives for the better at the New Forest’s number one volunteering event.

The New Forest Volunteer Fair is organised by the New Forest National Park Authority and brings together dozens of local groups to help budding volunteers find their perfect role.

After last year’s record attendance, hundreds of people are again expected to visit the free fair on Sunday 29 January. Open from 10.30am to 4pm at Lyndhurst Community Centre, the fair showcases opportunities from groups including the National Trust, Forestry Commission, Girlguiding Foxlease, Minstead Training Trust and more than 30 others.

Simon King recognises the important role volunteers play in the National Park and said: ‘Volunteers are the lifeblood of the New Forest National Park. Without the efforts of thousands of people you just would not have the beauty that we see all around us in the Forest.

‘If you want to do your bit then why not come along to the volunteer fair and find out how.’

Volunteer roles 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 you find friends, reach out to the community, improve your mental and physical wellbeing and even advance your  career.volunteer fair

Patsy Baverstock, a conservation volunteer from Southampton, said: ‘Volunteering to pull up the invasive non-native plant Himalayan balsam gives me a great day out somewhere in the countryside, with the location constantly changing. Not only do you meet new people, the challenge of the task has its reward at the end of the day when you can see the result of your efforts’.

Jim Mitchell, fair organiser and New Forest National Park Authority Interpretation Officer, said: ‘The new year is the perfect time to change your life for the better by trying something new. Volunteering is a fulfilling and satisfying way to spend your spare time, helping other people while making new friends and learning new skills for yourself.

‘It can be confusing to know where to look to find your perfect role, but the volunteer fair allows you to browse dozens of local groups all in one place, on one day. There is no better way to start 2017 with a fresh start!’

To find out more about the New Forest Volunteer Fair visit


The 36 organisations signed up for the New Forest Volunteer Fair so far are:

  • Hampshire Conservation Volunteers
  • Naomi House
  • New Forest Centre
  • National Trust
  • Friends of Lepe
  • Hampshire Libraries
  • Hampshire County Council Access Team
  • Brendon Care
  • Oakhaven Hospice Trust
  • Hampshire Swifts
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • New Forest Transition
  • Community First
  • New Forest Nightstop
  • RSPB
  • RNLI
  • Maritime Archaeology Trust
  • Hampshire Search and Rescue
  • New Forest Area Conservation Volunteers
  • It’s your choice
  • Blackwater Conservation Volunteers
  • New Forest Mencap
  • New Forest Disability Information Service
  • Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
  • Girlguiding Foxlease
  • New Forest Marathon
  • Hampshire Art and Recreation Therapy
  • Minstead Training Trust
  • Friends of New Forest Airfields
  • Milford Conservation Volunteers
  • Forestry Commission
  • Swanage Railway
  • Leonard Cheshire Disability - Fryers House
  • Patrick’s Patch
  • Pondhead Conservation Volunteers
  • Woodlander Hoburne Bashley
  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • Friends of the New Forest - New Forest Association
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Notes to Photo Editor:

Wildlife presenter Simon King shows his support for the 2017 New Forest Volunteer Fair.

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:

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

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