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Sway families invited to wild play site opening

Sway families invited to wild play site opening


A balancing snake, giant wooden tunnel and mini beast hotel are some of the exciting new activities for families to enjoy in a new outdoor play site in the New Forest.

Following the success of a wild play area launched by the New Forest National Park Authority and partners at Holbury Manor in April 2018, a second permanent space will be opened on Saturday 6 July at Stanford Rise Green in Sway.

The opening will take place from 2pm – 4pm, with families able to participate in a ribbon run, storytelling, Forest crafts and more. The afternoon will also include activities with National Park rangers, wood carving demonstrations by Richard Austin and music from Rick Street Organs.

In a world dominated by the latest technology and best TV boxsets, these unique spaces help families discover and connect with their surroundings for free, provide areas for children to exercise to improve their health and wellbeing, and encourage them to explore nature.

Three sites are being created across the National Park as part of a Forest-wide landscape partnership scheme to help enhance and protect the Forest for future generations. Holbury and Sway are the first two sites to be completed, with planning underway for the final site at Ashurst and Colbury Recreation Ground on Whartons Lane in Ashurst.

Claire Pearce, Wild Play Officer for New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘It has been fantastic to work with Sway Parish Council on Stanford Rise Green and create an amazing space for families to connect with their local surroundings.

‘It’s important we encourage children to spend more time outdoors, not only to inspire them to care for nature, but to help improve their physical and mental wellbeing. I hope families will enjoy this space for many years to come.’

Sway Parish Clerk, Katie Walding, said: ‘The Parish Council is delighted that the project at Stanford Rise Green is now officially completed, in response to the votes of our residents in a village consultation. We hope that families young and old will enjoy the green space with its flowers, fruit trees and wild play areas.’

Councillor Melanie Seacombe said: ‘Sway Parish Council would like to thank members of the Friends of Stanford Rise Green whose help was invaluable in helping to plant the bulbs and orchard trees, as well as providing the muscle to obtain logs for the seating and laying the safety surface around the wild play areas.’

Led by the New Forest National Park Authority and developed in partnership with Sway Parish Council, the site is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

More information on the Wild Play project and Our Past, Our Future scheme can be found at

Both adults and children are invited to have their say on how they play outside to help guide any future designs for the Ashurst site. Please visit


Notes to Photo Editor:

The balancing snake and mini beast hotel are already in place at the Stanford Rise Green wild play site.

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

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.

Media Contact

Beki Mole, Communications Assistant
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639

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