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News and updates

The scheme is now in its fourth year of the delivery phase of the five year work programme.

To find out more about the work of the 21 project download our latest newsletter, but some key highlights are outlined below:

  • Over 350 people have volunteered for different activities including scanning important historical photographs at the New Forest Centre, undertaking habitats and species surveys, participating in an archaeological dig at Buckler’s Hard in Beaulieu, and pulling up Himalayan Balsam along the banks of the Forest’s rivers
  • Over 4,000 people visited the New Forest National Park Authority’s stand at the 2017 New Forest Show, which focussed on the work of Our Past, Our Future scheme and featured activities related to some of the projects
  • In August 2016 the scheme hosted a visit from Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of Heritage Lottery Fund, showing her some exemplary work that the scheme had already achieved
  • 130 people attended a conference by the New Forest Knowledge project on the National Park’s history and archaeology
  • During June 2017, 60 events took place during the first New Forest Arts Festival
  • 18,000 trees have been planted at Foxbury and deer fencing, car park improvements, a composting toilet and a timber cabin have all been completed
  • 25 species of butterfly have been recorded at Foxbury
  • 6,959 new records for 208 species have been recorded by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust across 47 sites for Working Woodlands, Better Boundaries and Nature’s Stepping Stones. See the 2019 report
  • 4km of hedgerow and nearly 170 hectares of privately-owned woodland, grassland and heathland has been brought back into management since 2016 thanks to the New Forest Land Advice Service; that’s the equivalent of 170 rugby pitches
  • 35 dedicated local volunteers are looking for changes in polluting phosphate and nitrate levels by monitoring water quality at 60 sites in the River Beaulieu catchment area
  • Over 100 people have attended traditional building skills courses that have been run for agents and homeowners
  • 360 local people trained filling 750 spaces on 70 rural skills courses across more than 30 sites in the New Forest on the project to date
  • 160 people have obtained professional qualifications from Sparsholt College so far through the Rural Skills project
  • Four heritage groups have been trained and are involved in surveying their local graveyards
  • In October 2018 1,500 locals and visitors took part in over 78 walks as part of the New Forest Walking Festival
  • 750 people attended the 2019 New Forest National Park Volunteer Fair
  • 60 businesses and more than 3,000 employees are part of the Shared Forest Business Group
  • A Shared Forest Education Toolkit for primary aged children has been designed by teacher, commoner and outdoor learning expert Lyndsey Stride. Year 2 pupils from St Michael and All Angels C of E Infant School in Lyndhurst were the first to receive their Shared Forest Awards for completing the toolkit, and they were presented with their certificates and badges by the Head Agister, Jonathan Gerelli, at the Verderers Hall in October 2018. The toolkit can be downloaded here
  • The third two Apprentice Rangers are in post and have begun their training with the National Park’s ranger teams
  • Martyn Meaker successfully completed his apprenticeship with us in 2018 and was been awarded best Intermediate Environmental Conservation Apprentice and Best Apprentice of the Year 2018 by Kingston Maurward College
  • Ashurst Wild Play site is in development
  • New Forest ‘prehistoric burial’ mystery unearthed
  • A private woodland was managed by traditional horse power 
  • The Wild Play toolkit has been created to help groups, schools and communities create their own natural spaces for families to reconnect with their surroundings
  • 10,000 people visited the Commoners’ Voices exhibition at the New Forest Heritage Centre from November 2018 to January 2019
  • Building works on the Verderer’s Hall have been completed

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