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Immerse yourself in Forest life

Immerse yourself in Forest life


Step into the ‘Real New Forest’ and discover more about the relationships between commoners, their animals, the Forest and you at an exhibition this winter.

Through photographs, audio and video the Commoning Voices exhibition shares the passion commoners have for the New Forest, their animals and their community, and invites visitors to learn more about this important aspect of Forest life.

A special opening takes place from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 3 November, with former Head Agister Brian Ingram officially opening the exhibition at 2.30pm. Local commoners whose animals have shaped the landscape and whose stories have helped put the exhibition together will be on hand throughout the day for visitors to meet.

The free exhibition runs until Sunday 6 January 2019 at the New Forest Heritage Centre in Lyndhurst and is open from 10am until 3.30pm.

Commoners and their special way of life have shaped the Forest which we all know and love in so many ways; whether it is for the rare southern damselfly which lays its eggs in the pools made by pony hoof prints, the carefully nibbled gorse bushes which provide the perfect place for stonechats to perch on, or the pony paths which lead visitors deep in to the Forest.

Many of the photographs in the exhibition have been taken by local photographer Sally Fear whose iconic images have documented commoning over the past two decades. Other photographs come from the family albums of commoners, recorded as part of the Through Our Ancestors Eyes project, and the collections of the Christopher Tower Reference Library in the New Forest Heritage Centre.

Visitors to the exhibition are being asked to share their special New Forest stories by writing in a Book of Yarns or sharing their special Forest places on social media using the hashtag #Icaretoo.

The exhibition and Commoning Voices project is supported by Commoners Defence Association and the Heritage Lottery Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme. More information about the scheme can be found at


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