Explore the Forest’s past, present and future

Discover the Forest’s history through trees at the exhibition at the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst web version

Published Wednesday 18 October 2017

How can trees help us discover the New Forest’s long and fascinating history? And how did a nine year old boy, 800 years ago, help shape the place we know and love today?

Families can explore the New Forest’s woods and trees at a special exhibition for all ages, and celebrate its involvement in a national event launching in November. 

The free exhibition is organised by the New Forest National Park Authority and includes works from this year’s New Forest Arts Festival by hArt, Forest Forge Theatre Company and Forest Arts. It is open daily between 10am and 3.30pm from Saturday 14 October 2017 until Sunday 14 January 2018 at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the history of the Charter of the Forest and watch a unique animation created with the help of visitors to the National Park Authority’s stand at the New Forest Show.

A ‘Tree of Life’ provides a creative space for people to add their favourite memories and stories of the Forest’s trees and woods to celebrate this special area. Their memories, stories and wishes for the future of the National Park will join the hundreds of other leaves added by people as it travelled around the National Park as part of the New Forest Arts Festival earlier this year.

There is also an exclusive ‘audio-composition’ for visitors listen to, created by local artist Deborah Gearing following her residency at the Observatory at Buckler’s Hard as part of the Arts Festival. 

Gareth Owen Interpretation and Outreach Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘November 6 2017 is the 800th anniversary of the issuing of the Charter of the Forest by the boy king Henry III in 1217. This document changed how people interacted with Forests including the New Forest and was the starting point for some fundamental rights that still underpin the modern New Forest. In recognition of this important historical event, the theme for the exhibition has been trees, woods and people and we challenged artists of this year’s New Forest Arts Festival to explore these topics in their work. 

‘The New Forest National Park Authority is also supporting the new national Charter for Woods, Trees and People planned to be issued this November as we believe that people of the UK have a right to the many benefits brought by trees and woods. The new charter will recognise, celebrate and protect this right.’

Discover more about the Charter of the Forest and the National Park’s role in the upcoming Charter for Trees, Woods and People at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/treecharter

This exhibition is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme, led by the Authority in partnership with 10 key organisations, undertaking 21 projects across the New Forest.

More information about the Our Past, Our Future scheme can be found online at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/landscapepartnership


Notes to Photo Editor:

Discover the Forest’s history through trees at the exhibition at the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst.

Notes to Editor:

Our Past, Our Future

Our Past, Our Future is a Landscape Partnership Scheme for the New Forest which, supported by Heritage Lottery Funding, 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 www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/landscapepartnership

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. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery @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 www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contact
Beki Mole, Communications Assistant 
New Forest National Park Authority 
Tel: 01590 646639 
Email: beki.mole@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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