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A summer evening of arts, crafts and music launches New Forest Arts Festival

A summer evening of arts, crafts and music launches New Forest Arts Festival


The launch at Minstead Lodge just outside Lyndhurst, was kindly supplied by Minstead Trust, and was attended by artists, Minstead Trust students, community and business leaders.

This year’s Festival sees more than 60 events taking place around the New Forest National Park from 10 – 25 June. Events range from outdoor theatre performances and arts and craft workshops to live music and an exclusive poetry book launch. There are lots of opportunities to get involved and many events are free.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘We’re looking forward to a fortnight of exciting events, many in unusual locations such as Rockbourne Roman Villa, the Countryside Education Trust treehouses at Beaulieu, Hordle Cliff beach huts and Exbury Gardens.

‘The launch was a fantastic showcase of what is to come across the National Park, with music, dancing and spectacular artwork on display.

‘Last year over 3,800 people discovered more about the Forest landscape and celebrated its creative community through the Arts Festival and we hope even more people will join us this year.’

Led by the New Forest National Park Authority with local creative organisations, the Festival is part of a Heritage Lottery Fund project called Our Past, Our Future, helping to protect the landscape and encourage people to find out more about the Forest’s fascinating heritage. Our Past, Our Future is led by the Authority in partnership with 10 key organisations, undertaking 21 projects across the New Forest.

Highlights include a two week programme of activities at Furzey Gardens in Minstead, a spooky outdoor performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible at Blackwater Arboretum and a Free Art For All day in Lyndhurst featuring professional cartoonist Simon Chadwick, Creative Kids workshops and a visit from the Travelling Tree of Life.

For the full programme visit


Notes to Photo Editors

Guests enjoyed music from Netley Marsh based African Activities, who will be showcasing their music and artistic talents at Furzey Gardens on Friday 16 June.

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest Arts Festival

The New Forest Arts Festival is one of many projects within a Heritage Lottery Fund scheme called Our Past Our Future, led by the New Forest National Park Authority with 10 key partners.

Over the next four years it will help protect and enhance the landscape, develop Forest skills and encourage residents and visitors to discover and safeguard the Forest’s fascinating heritage. More details at

This is the second year of the Arts Festival, with around 60 events inviting people to celebrate the New Forest National Park’s landscape, culture and creative community. Many of the events are in unusual venues and there are many opportunities to take part.


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 to find out more.

Matt Stroud, Communications Officer
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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