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New Forest artwork exhibition and auction

New Forest artwork exhibition and auction


An exhibition of art depicting the New Forest will feature the chance to bid for a painting of traditional horse logging by local artist Barry Peckham. 

On a sunny few days late last autumn, the volunteers of Pondhead Conservation Trust welcomed Fleur and Celine, two working Comtois horses, to their ranks to undertake some traditional horse logging. It was an event that attracted a group of local artists known collectively as the New Forest Painters.

The artists are holding a Spring Exhibition of their work in Brockenhurst in March, which will include a painting by Barry Peckham of the horses at work in Pondhead Inclosure (pictured).

During the exhibition, silent bids will be invited for the painting and the proceeds from the winning bid will be donated to Pondhead Conservation Trust to help with ongoing conservation work.

Pondhead Conservation Trust is an award-winning community woodland project restoring 78 hectares of Crown woodland in the heart of the New Forest. Much of the work involves restoring the largest remaining area of hazel coppice in the Forest and making premium BBQ charcoal from the timber that is cut during coppicing, a centuries old form of sustainable woodland management. Against this background, it was entirely fitting that the Trust should turn back the clock and employ horses to extract timber and deliver it to their charcoal kiln rather than modern mechanical methods.

The use of the horses was sponsored by the New Forest Land Advice Service through funds given by Clif Bar.

Gemma Stride, Working Woodland Project Coordinator, said: ‘The use of horses certainly has a place within woodland management practices as using modern machinery is not always suitable depending upon how sensitive the woodland ground conditions are. It’s always worth pursuing alternative practices to establish how effective these methods are. The wonderful benefist of using horses for extraction at Pondhead are the new skills and knowledge of traditional woodland management practices gained by the volunteers.’

Derek Tippetts from Pondhead Conservation Trust said: ‘We are very grateful to the New Forest Land Advice Service for their continuing support for our project and to the New Forest Painters for their generous gesture. It’s great to see these groups get together for the benefit of conservation in the New Forest.’

The New Forest Painters Spring Exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, at Brockenhurst Village Hall, Highwood Road SO42 7RY.


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