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2019 New Forest Walking Festival a bumper success

2019 New Forest Walking Festival a bumper success


Hundreds of residents and visitors enjoyed the 2019 New Forest Walking Festival, with people coming from far and wide to discover the National Park’s amazing landscapes and wildlife.

Set against a stunning autumnal backdrop, this year’s festival ran for a bumper three weeks (12 October to 3 November) to celebrate 2019 being the Year of Green Action.

The hugely-popular festival attracted 1,600 people, up 15% on last year. Now in its seventh year, the festival hosts dozens of guided walks led by knowledgeable local experts, taking walkers behind the scenes to learn more about the wildlife, history and culture of the National Park.

The 65 walks this autumn allowed people to get outside into the fresh air and find out more about the forest, thanks to archaeologists, wildlife experts and rangers. The wide range of themed walks included birdwatching, fungi spotting, hidden histories, bark ranger walks for pooches and woodland wild play events for children.

Adam Vasey, New Forest National Park Authority ranger said: ‘The 2019 New Forest Walking Festival has been fantastic. We’re thrilled to have so many people out enjoying the National Park and learning about its special qualities on walks led by over 20 different organisations. It has become a much-anticipated event, with interest from around the UK.

‘We’d like to thank everyone who made it such a success. Special thanks go to Simon from Hoburne Bashley who offered his walking leader services for free which, together with a travel grant from the Year of Green Action fund, helped 220 children come out into the New Forest and learn why it’s so special.’

The New Forest Walking Festival is funded by the £4.4m Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme backed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help the Forest thrive in the future.

It’s run in partnership with many local organisations including Forestry England, New Forest Association, New Forest Ramblers and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

The Festival will return in 2020 from 17 October to 1 November with walks announced by August 2020.

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