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Wild play

Grow up wild in the New Forest!

Playing outdoors in a natural environment, building dens, jumping in puddles, clambering over fallen logs and making mud pies is what wild play is all about! Opportunities for free play within nature offer countless benefits to children and often are the source of standout childhood memories.

Part of the joy of wild play is its simplicity, there is no need for any complicated equipment, just you, your family and some good old wellie boots! Leave the toys and computers at home, get your imagination in gear and start exploring.

Whatever the season or weather, there is an outdoor adventure waiting for you so why not put on your sun cream…or waterproofs and head outside?

The wild play project

We’ve worked with local communities to create three wild play areas within the New Forest National Park at Holbury, Ashurst and Sway.

  • Holbury Manor, Holbury Drove, Holbury (on the corner with Lime Kiln Lane)
  • Stanford Rise Green, Sway
  • Ashurst recreation ground, Whartons Lane, Ashurst.

If you can’t make it to the wild play areas, use our seasonal wild play downloads with your family which are packed with tips to help you have more fun in the outdoors.

Wild play was one of 21 projects within the £4.4 million, National Lottery Heritage Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

Wild play toolkit

If you or someone that you know is interested in creating a wild play area then our new wild play toolkit is for you.

Designed for parish councils, groups, organisations and individuals who are interested in developing a wild play space, it is packed with ideas for resources and activities as well as all the different things that you will need to consider in your wild play journey.

Lead Ranger


'To reduce the risk of damaging wildfires, campfires or BBQs are not permitted in the New Forest.'

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