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Background to the scheme

Background to the scheme

Our Past, Our Future was developed by the partnership over several years, with a final application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in May 2015.

Various work informed the development including: an analysis of threats and opportunities, community engagement, individual project research and development, an audience development plan, an interpretation plan, volunteer framework, a landscape character assessment and an evaluation framework. Much of this is summarised in the Landscape Conservation Action Plan and the supporting documentation.  The delivery of the scheme started in October 2015, with work taking place on 21 project within four themes across the New Forest, and ended in March 2021.


‘To undertake a range of projects to restore habitats, discover forest heritage and develop forest skills alongside volunteering and measures to connect people to the landscape, which will provide a step-change towards this vision.’

  • Grow the Forest and reconnect the core with its surrounding landscape to build connectivity
  • Buffer the core of the Forest from future changes
  • Re-establish the traditional skills needed to care for the unique natural heritage and built heritage of the New Forest
  • Establish links with the surrounding communities who have become disconnected from the Forest
  • Empower communities to look after their local natural and built heritage
  • Encourage, enthuse and inspire a new generation of people to be more involved in learning about, championing and caring for the New Forest
  • Maximise the contribution of the local economy (tourism, commoning, farming, forestry) in supporting a sustainable landscape.

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