New Forest walking festival: book nowPUBLISHED ON: 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
World War Two remains, wild play activities and fascinating wildlife are just some of the treats awaiting walkers in this autumn’s New Forest Walking Festival.
The festival boasts more than 70 guided walks led by knowledgeable local experts and booking is now open here.
Walkers will be taken behind the scenes in the Forest to discover more about the area’s history, heritage and wildlife from 13 to 28 October, which includes half term week.
Some walks offer the opportunity to meet the real life stars of the recent Channel Four TV series ‘A Year in the New Forest’.
Run by the New Forest National Park Authority with support from Forest organisations and businesses, the festival has proved popular with residents and visitors since it began in 2013. More than 1,500 people attended last year’s event, with 94% saying they learnt something new and interesting about the New Forest.
The National Park is a wonderful place to walk during the autumn, with flat, accessible routes that allow walkers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the Forest’s fiery foliage.
Walks cover topics including:
• Free-roaming pigs, ponies and the traditional rights of commoning
• Wild play activities for children
• D-Day remains and a WWII bomb testing site
• Fungi spotting
• Top tips for bird watching.
Jim Mitchell, New Forest National Park Authority Interpretation and Outreach Manager, said: ‘With a wider range of walks than ever, we are really looking forward to this year’s walking festival.
‘Exploring with a knowledgeable guide is one of the best ways to find out what is special about the Forest, while at the same time gaining all the health and social benefits a good walk can bring.’
The New Forest Walking Festival is funded by the £4.3m Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the Forest fit for the future.
The festival is run in partnership with many local organisations including the Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council, Friends of the New Forest, Healthy Walks and New Forest Ramblers.
For full details, including booking, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/walkingfestival
Notes to photo editor
Walkers enjoy a New Forest Walking Festival stroll in Ashurst.
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.
Matt Stroud, Communications Officer
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650