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Ashurst and Colbury families invited to wild play site opening

Ashurst and Colbury families invited to wild play site opening


Tree forts, a giant wooden sand lizard and wildlife seating circle are some of the exciting new activities for families to enjoy in a new outdoor play site in the New Forest.

A third permanent wild play space will be opened at Ashurst and Colbury Recreation Ground on Whartons Lane following the success of two wild play areas already created by the New Forest National Park Authority and partners at Holbury Manor in Holbury and Stanford Rise Green in Sway.

The opening will take place on Wednesday 28 August from 2pm – 4pm, with families able to participate in a ribbon run, den building, minibeast hunts and other wild play activities with National Park rangers.

In a world dominated by the latest technology and best TV boxsets, these unique spaces help families discover and connect with their surroundings for free, provide areas for children to exercise to improve their health and wellbeing, and encourage them to explore nature.

Three sites have been created across the National Park as part of a Forest-wide landscape partnership scheme to help enhance and protect the Forest for future generations.

Claire Pearce, Wild Play Officer for New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘I am looking forward to officially opening our third wild play site at Ashurst Recreation Ground. Working with Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council has been fantastic, and I believe that we have created an amazing play space for families to explore.

‘Encouraging children to spend more time playing out in a natural environment is important, not only to inspire them to care for nature, but also to help improve their physical and mental wellbeing. I hope the space will be enjoyed by the local community for many years to come.’

Ashurst and Colbury Parish Clerk, Helen Klaassen, said: ‘Led by the New Forest National Park Authority and developed in partnership with Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council, the site is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

‘The Parish Council is really excited to introduce a whole new level of play opportunity to the Recreation Ground that we are sure will delight and inspire children for many years to come.’

More information on the Wild Play project and Our Past, Our Future scheme can be found at


Notes to Photo Editor:

Children enjoying the natural play equipment in the wild play site at Stanford Rise Green in Sway.

Notes to Editor:

Our Past, Our Future

Our Past, Our Future is a Landscape Partnership Scheme for the New Forest which, supported by National Heritage Lottery Funding, will undertake a range of projects to restore lost habitats, develop Forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the New Forest. The partnership focuses on the enclosed lands which surround the Open Forest.

The five year scheme is being led by the New Forest National Park Authority working alongside several delivery and funding partners, including the New Forest Land Advice Service.

For more information on Our Past, Our Future visit

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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