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The New Forest Awakening Festival

The New Forest Awakening Festival


Join us in tackling the nature and climate emergencies 

Virtual, throughout February 2021 

New Forest organisations, businesses and charities are taking you behind the scenes to learn about the nature and climate emergencies – and everyone’s invited.

The New Forest Awakening Festival led by the New Forest National Park Authority with a range of partners is an online festival throughout February.

People can discover why the New Forest is so special, its role in the climate and nature emergencies, what people are already doing to protect it and how everyone can help.

Highlights include:

  • Discover the RSPB’s secret forest in the north of the National Park
  • Immerse yourself in New Forest nature with beautiful soundscapes
  • Meet the commoners who own the famous New Forest ponies
  • Join a celebration of the achievements of the £4m Our Past Our Future lottery scheme, which has restored habitats and inspired hundreds of volunteers
  • Take a virtual tour of a farm and the forest with a commoner to learn about the commoning year
  • Find out how to move your business towards ‘net zero’
  • Go wild with National Park rangers as they stage an Instagram takeover
  • Enjoy a special screening of a film about travelling sustainably, followed by Q&A with the Director
  • Learn how to set up a low carbon community action group
  • Consider applying for a New Forest National Park Authority micro grant for nature and sustainability projects.

National Park Authority Chairman Gavin Parker said: ‘The New Forest National Park Authority made a declaration of intent to champion action with partners and communities towards the National Park being ‘net zero with nature’ by 2050. Net zero is achieved when any harmful greenhouse gas emissions are balanced by an equivalent amount being absorbed by the atmosphere and landscape.

‘The Festival is about increasing people’s understanding of the issues in the New Forest and how we can all help respond to the nature and climate crises.

‘The New Forest is beginning to awaken for spring: we’re awakening our awareness of nature and climate issues; and we’re awakening our action to help protect our precious landscape. We hope lots of people will get involved.’

The New Forest Awakening Festival programme, with more events being added daily, is available here:

Also search for @newforestnpa for updates on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.


Notes to photo editors: 
Images of a New Forest sunrise and a New Forest Awakening Festival logo are available via the links at the foot of this release.

Notes to editors:
An audio statement from Gavin Parker, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, is available on request.


New Forest National Park Nature Facts: 

  • Over half the New Forest National Park is of international importance for nature.
  • It has the largest area of lowland heath in Western Europe, an essential habitat for wildlife including the rare bird the Dartford warbler and other ground nesting birds such as nightjars.
  • The freshwater habitats across the Forest are also unique – providing critically important habitats for insects and wading birds. The New Forest has 75% of the remaining valley mires (boggy areas) in North-Western Europe.
  • The New Forest is home to many rare species that have long disappeared in many other parts of the UK – large marsh grasshopper (largest grasshopper species now only found in three areas of England), sand lizards, ground nesting birds such as the curlew which is currently a globally threatened species.
  • An incredible 63% of Britain’s 24,000 types of insects, and 75% of all dragonfly species are found in the New Forest.
  • All six species of the UK’s native reptiles live in the Forest including sand lizards, and the UK’s only venomous snake (adder, sand lizard, slow-worm, grass snake, common lizard, smooth snake.)
  • There are around 1,000 ponds within the Forest that provide critically important habitats for endangered plants, insects and amphibians, including Hatchet Pond near Beaulieu, recognised for its international importance to nature.
  • The New Forest is home to over 2,700 types of fungi, including many rare and endangered species.
  • The National Park has some of the UK’s best ancient woodlands, supporting a host of other plantlife and animals.

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.

Maria Court, Communications Officer
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650


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