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New trail to promote nature play

New trail to promote nature play

PUBLISHED ON: 13 NOVEMBER 2020

A new wild play trail is to be created in the heart of Bransgore village in the New Forest.

The trail at Clare Lodge copse will be designed to encourage residents to explore nature and exercise outside.

Natural play features will be situated along paths to promote movement and encourage social distancing.

Features planned include:

  • Nature based sculpture to promote imaginary play and allow balancing and climbing
  • Rustic benches designed to enable children to lie back and look at the canopy and sky
  • Carvings on benches to provide prompts of activity
  • Balancing and stepping logs
  • A tiny fairy forest to promote imaginative play and exploration
  • Viewing screens designed with viewing holes at different heights.

The project is being led by Bransgore Parish Council and the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

Claire Pearce, Wild Play Officer for the NPA said: ‘I am really excited to be working with Bransgore Parish Council in developing a wild play trail. Right now, it is more important than ever for children to have easy access to nature with opportunities to engage their imagination and energy with the natural environment. I hope that the wild play trail will become a much-loved part of the village.’

The £7,000 trail is being funded by the NPA through the release of developer contributions from new residential developments in the National Park, to support public open space provision in the area.

Bransgore Parish Council Chairman Jacque Lay said: ‘Looking towards the future, the council has accepted an offer from the New Forest National Park Authority to create a small woodland play trail in the Clare Lodge public open space. This will be aimed towards the under eights and offers them an opportunity to explore the natural world. The plan will take on board the concerns that some residents expressed during a consultation with the neighbouring properties.’

The trail, due to be completed by the end of March 2021, will be the fourth wild play site in the New Forest. The existing three at Ashurst, Sway and Holbury, were created through the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Our Past, Our Future

Our Past, Our Future is a Landscape Partnership Scheme for the New Forest which, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is undertaking 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 includes 21 projects and is being led by the New Forest National Park Authority working with several delivery and funding partners.

For more information about the Our Past, Our Future scheme, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/landscapepartnership

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