An evening of trees, woods and people launches national charter

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

Published Wednesday 15 November 2017

More than 50 people came together to celebrate the New Forest’s involvement in a national unveiling of a new charter for trees.

In 2017 the New Forest National Park Authority joined forces with the Woodland Trust and other organisations across the UK to create the Charter for Trees, Woods and People. The new Charter redefines the relationship between trees and people in the UK, setting out the principles for a society in which people and trees can stand stronger together. 

To celebrate the launch and mark the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest, local artists, creative organisations, community and business leaders visited a special exhibition at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst last Monday (6 November) and took part in the activities on offer.

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘We are extremely lucky to have been part of the celebrations of the new Charter for Trees, Woods and People. The New Forest is such an inspiring place and it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate important historical events that have helped shape and form the landscape we know today.

‘This exhibition is a brilliant example of Forest partnership working and I want to thank everyone who has worked incredibly hard to pull it together.’

The new Charter is inspired by the Charter of the Forest which was issued in 1217 on behalf of the nine year old king Henry III. The Charter of the Forest was an important document for people living in the New Forest as it changed how people interacted with forests and was the starting point for some fundamental rights that still underpin the modern New Forest. 

The free, family-friendly 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 until Sunday 14 January 2018 at the New Forest Centre.

There is a special family-friendly open day on Saturday 25 November at the New Forest Centre between 10am and 3.30pm. This is a free event and includes activities such as mini-den building, tree-inspired craft and calligraphy. There is a special giveaway for the first 100 people coming with a lottery ticket in recognition of thanks to lottery players for the funding they provide for heritage. 

Discover more about the Charter of the Forest and the National Park’s role in the Charter for Trees, Woods and People at 

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


Notes to Photo Editor:

The exhibition runs until Sunday 14 January 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

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. @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 to find out more.

Media Contact

Beki Mole
Communications Assistant
015920 646639

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