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‘Tree-mendous’ New Forest Arts Festival: 10 — 25 June 2017

‘Tree-mendous’ New Forest Arts Festival: 10 — 25 June 2017


Returning for a second year, the Festival offers residents and visitors the chance to experience a wide range of art in unusual spaces. There are lots of opportunities to get involved, with events including workshops, drama performances and films, and many events are free.

The theme for the 2017 New Forest Arts Festival is trees, marking the 800th anniversary of the historic 1217 Charter of the Forest which established rights of access and use for the Royal Forests in England that still underpin the modern New Forest.

Festival highlights include a spooky performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible about the Salem witch trials in 1692 among the trees of the Rhinefield Arboretum. You can also…

Create the Travelling Tree of Life — add your hopes for the future of our trees on a beautiful leaf as the Forest Forge Theatre bus travels round the National Park collecting people’s special memories of the Forest.

Join the world’s bravest adventurer Mortimer Sparks, and his assistant Jinx Calhoun as they race to stop a vicious vine from taking over the beautiful Exbury Gardens in this all new, interactive, theatrical adventure for families.

Enjoy poems and activities at the new Tall Trees Trail at the Countryside Education Trust.

Meet national treasure TV weatherman Michael Fish MBE for a chat after a world exclusive performance about the truth behind the Great Storm of 1987.

Hear storytellers’ tales of the New Forest gypsies and take part in a folk jig.

Make your own chair from hazel coppiced in Lyndhurst’s Pondhead Community Woodland.

Become a playwright with professionals Deborah Geering and Paul Hewitt or a cartoonist with professional Simon Chadwick.

Discover Songs For Wild Horses — an evening of music especially created for the Festival and inspired by the New Forest and Thomas Hardy’s novella from 1872, Under the Greenwood Tree.

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.

Last year we welcomed over 3,800 people to Festival events. Join us!

For the latest Festival news visit and sign up for our e-newsletter, or join us on Facebook at


Notes to Photo Editor:

Join Mortimer Sparks and Jinx Calhoun as they race to stop a vicious vine form taking over Exbury Gardens.

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 lots of 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.

Media Contact:

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant

New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646639


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