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Behind the scenes New Forest Walking Festival returns for bumper year

Behind the scenes New Forest Walking Festival returns for bumper year

PUBLISHED ON: 12 SEPTEMBER 2019

Smuggler’s trails, wild play activities and fascinating wildlife are just some of the treats awaiting walkers in this autumn’s extended New Forest Walking Festival.

The festival boasts dozens of guided walks led by knowledgeable local experts and booking is now open online.

Walks take you behind the scenes in the Forest to reveal the area’s history, heritage and wildlife from Saturday 12 October to Sunday 3 November, which includes half term week.

The extended festival is part of the nationwide Year of Green Action – a year-long drive to get more people from all backgrounds involved in projects to celebrate and protect the natural world. It is also a celebration of 70 years since National Parks were established.

Run by the New Forest National Park Authority with support from Forest organisations and businesses, the festival has proved popular with residents and visitors since it began in 2013. In 2018 more than 1,600 people enjoyed 75 behind the scenes family strolls, history hikes, wildlife walks and more.

The National Park is a wonderful place to walk during the autumn, with flat, accessible routes that allow walkers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the Forest’s fiery foliage.

Walks cover topics including:

  • Free-roaming pigs, ponies and the traditional rights of commoning
  • Wild play activities for children
  • WWII experimental sites
  • A secret forest
  • Top tips for bird watching.

Many of the walks are free or discounted thanks to the festival being supported by the £4.4mNational Heritage Lottery Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

The festival is run in partnership with many local organisations including the Forestry England, Hampshire County Council and New Forest Ramblers.

For full details, including booking, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/walkingfestival

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Notes to Photo Editor:

Walkers enjoy a New Forest Walking Festival stroll in Beaulieu.

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 www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/landscapepartnership

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 www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contact:

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639
Email: beki.mole@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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