Hundreds expected at New Forest Volunteer Fair

Volunteers help clear sites as part of the working woodlands project banner

Published Wednesday 24 January 2018

The New Forest’s biggest event for volunteering opportunities is ready to welcome hundreds of budding volunteers this weekend (Sunday 28 January).

Visitors will have the chance to join any of the record 46 organisations, helping them to inspire youngsters, record wildlife, restore landscapes and help some of society’s most vulnerable. The New Forest National Park Volunteer Fair is organised by the New Forest National Park Authority. 

People of all ages, interests and abilities are welcome at the free fair, which runs from 10.30am to 4pm on Sunday 28 January at Lyndhurst Community Centre.

Local volunteer Patrick Keane will be joining Julian Lewis MP and National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes to open the fair. Patrick, from Brockenhurst, volunteered over 1,000 hours helping catalogue and scan documents for the New Forest Knowledge online portal over the last two years as part of the Our Past, Our Future scheme.

As well as browsing display stands, prospective volunteers can gain further insight into volunteering in the New Forest through 10 talks by local groups, including:

  • Community woodland volunteers in the New Forest
    Derek Tippets, Pondhead Conservation Trust
  • The Work of Minstead Trust - could you help us make someone shine?
    Bev Spanswick, Minstead Trust
  • Helping Hedgehogs
    Louise Godden, East Boldre Hedgehog Rescue.

The talks will show how volunteering is not just beneficial to local communities and the environment, it 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: ‘There are loads of great organisations coming along this year, including both national bodies and local groups, so there will be plenty of volunteering opportunities to find out about.

‘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.’

If you’re unable to attend the fair but are interested in volunteering in the Forest, view and download a copy of this year’s volunteer guide at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/volunteerfair. You will also find more information about the day and the full list of planned talks. 

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

  • Blackwater Conservation Group 
  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust
  • Butterfly Conservation
  • The Brendoncare Foundation
  • Christchurch and East Dorset Countryside Team
  • Community Speedwatch
  • Countryside Education Trust
  • Exbury Gardens
  • Forestry Commission 
  • Friends of Lepe Country Park
  • Friends of New Forest Airfields
  • Friends of the New Forest (New Forest Association)
  • Green Island Holiday Trust
  • Hampshire Scouts
  • Hampshire Swifts
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
  • Hampshire County Council Access Team
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
  • Hampshire Scouts
  • hArt
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre
  • Lyndhurst and District Community Responders
  • Lyndhurst and Minstead Bellringers
  • Milford Conservation Volunteers
  • Minstead Trust
  • National Trust
  • New Forest Area Conservation Volunteers
  • New Forest Centre
  • New Forest Community First 
  • New Forest Disability Information Centre
  • New Forest National Park Authority
  • New Forest Nightstop
  • New Forest Mencap
  • New Forest Rotary
  • New Forest Transition 
  • Oakhaven Hospice Trust
  • Pedall Inclusive Cycling 
  • Patrick’s Patch at Fairweather’s Garden Centre
  • Pondhead Conservation Volunteers
  • Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society 
  • RSPB
  • SS Shieldhall
  • Woodlander Hoburne Bashley.

Notes to Photo Editor:

New Forest Nightstop at 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 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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