Hundreds expected at New Forest Volunteer Fair


Published Wednesday 25 January 2017

The New Forest’s number one event for volunteering opportunities is poised to welcome hundreds of budding volunteers this weekend.

Visitors will have the chance to join any of the record 45 organisations, helping them to inspire youngsters, record wildlife, restore landscapes and help some of society’s most vulnerable. The New Forest Volunteer Fair is organised by the New Forest National Park Authority.

People of all ages and interests are welcome at the free fair, which runs from 10.30am to 4pm on Sunday 29 January at Lyndhurst Community Centre.

Award-winning volunteer Brian Matthews will be joining National Park Authority chief executive Alison Barnes and Julian Lewis MP to open the fair. Brian, from Lymington, spent an astonishing 400 hours volunteering in 2016. He was named Project Champion for the New Forest non-native plants project recently at a celebration evening for volunteers in the New Forest.

As well as browsing display stands, prospective volunteers can gain further insight into volunteering in the New Forest through 13 talks by local groups, including:

  • Get involved with the Secrets of the Solent: Owain Masters, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • Homelessness and how to help in the New Forest: Jude Todd, New Forest Nightstop
  • Getting started as a swift fanatic: Kiki Maurey, Hampshire Swifts.        

The talks will show that as well as helping local communities and the environment, volunteering is also good for volunteers, helping them find friends, reach out to the community, improve mental and physical wellbeing and even advance their career.

Jim Mitchell, fair organiser and New Forest National Park Authority interpretation and outreach manager, said: ‘This year there are the greatest number and range of volunteering opportunities that we have ever had at the fair, so it’s not to be missed!

‘Even if you are not sure if volunteering is for you, drop by and we can help you with any questions you have about how and where you can make a difference to the Forest.’

To find out more about the Volunteer Fair and the other talks planned, visit

- Ends -

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

  • Blackwater Conservation Group
  • Brendoncare Foundation
  • Carriage Driving for the Disabled
  • Countryside Education Trust
  • Community First New Forest
  • Exbury Gardens
  • Fairweathers Learning Garden
  • Forestry Commission
  • Friends of New Forest Airfields
  • Furzey Gardens / Minstead Training Project
  • Girlguiding Foxlease
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
  • Hampshire Conservation Volunteers
  • Hampshire County Council- Friends of Lepe
  • Hampshire County Council Countryside Service
  • Hampshire Search and Rescue
  • Hampshire Swifts
  • hArt – Hampshire Art for Recreation and Therapy
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • Its Your Choice
  • Leonard Cheshire
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre
  • Lymington Community Centre
  • Maritime Archaeology Trust
  • Milford Conservation Volunteers
  • Naomi House
  • New Forest Area Conservation Volunteers
  • Friends of the New Forest- New Forest Association
  • New Forest Centre
  • New Forest Disability Information Service 
  • New Forest Land Advice Service
  • New Forest Marathon
  • New Forest Mencap
  • New Forest National Trust
  • New Forest Nightstop
  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • New Forest Transition
  • Oakhaven Hospice Trust
  • Pondhead Conservation Trust
  • Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)
  • RSPB- A date with Nature in the New Forest
  • Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
  • Swanage Railway
  • SS Shieldhall
  • Woodlander Coppice
  • Young Explorers Network

Notes to Photo Editor

Stallholders and prospective volunteers at last year’s 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 Contact

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

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