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Lead Partner

New Forest Centre

What is it about?

Ecademy aims to provide online access to knowledge, data and information about the New Forest for the benefit of the local community, researchers and students.

The New Forest Centre and National Park Authority are working in partnership on the New Forest Knowledge website, which provides access to the wealth of information about the National Park held in the New Forest Centre Museum, the Christopher Tower Reference Library and in libraries and databases elsewhere.

Ecademy will:

  • Continue to populate the New Forest Knowledge website, making heritage information accessible to all users from their home or place of work
  • Work with volunteers to catalogue and digitise items from the Christopher Tower Reference Library collection and make them accessible via New Forest Knowledge
  • Provide better availability of historical information, resulting in more informed decision-making in the management and conservation of the New Forest, and an increased understanding and appreciation of the Forest’s heritage
  • Create an informal network and online forum to foster information exchange and collaboration by working together, enabling the sharing of information
  • Run annual New Forest Knowledge conferences.

The New Forest Knowledge website was launched in autumn 2017 and can be accessed at Users can browse via a map-based search and also contribute their own information where relevant. Items that can be found include books, maps, manuscripts, reports, paintings, photographs, audio clips and short videos. The site is being used by local history and archaeology groups, students and professional researchers, and it will continue to be promoted widely with all groups and communities in the Forest.

Ecademy has run two conferences, the first in 2016 on ‘Ecology and Climate Change in the New Forest’, and the second in 2017 on ‘New Forest Archaeology’. A third conference, organised jointly with the Commoners Defence Association, entitled ‘The Role of Commoning in the Maintenance of Landscape and Ecology: a New Forest, National and Global Perspective’ will take place on Monday 29 October 2018. For further information and booking instructions please visit the New Forest Knowledge Conference event page.

Volunteering and training

Volunteers are helping to prepare catalogue and index entries of collections and, where relevant, photograph and scan items to be recorded.

Visit the volunteering page for more information on how to get involved in volunteering for the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.


Partners in the Ecademy are committed to supporting the New Forest Knowledge system beyond the four years of funding. It is hoped that the volunteer force will continue to be involved in the research and management of the library resources.

Contact details

Kath Walker – Ecademy Project Officer, New Forest Centre

Tel: 023 8028 6150 email:


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