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Friday, 25 February 2011

Finding friends and fun at volunteer fair

People with a passion for the New Forest are invited to a Volunteer Fair showcasing the best of volunteering opportunities in the National Park.

Organised by the New Forest National Park Authority, the fair already has 25 different groups signed up, with everything from local history to conservation tasks on offer.

People of all ages are welcome to the event on Saturday 5 March at Lyndhurst Community Centre, which will include activities such as making animal homes.

Jim Mitchell, the New Forest National Park’s Interpretation Officer, said: ‘2011 is the European Year of Volunteering and we want to celebrate the great work going on in the New Forest and encourage more people to get involved.

‘Volunteering is good for meeting new people, learning new skills, it can keep you fit and is a great way to make a real difference to the Forest. For anyone with an interest in the wildlife, landscape and heritage of the National Park, come along!’

Diane Hogarty recently volunteered with the National Park’s Coastal Heritage Project. She said: ‘Volunteering is educational, fun, friendly (you meet people from all walks of life), exciting, inspirational, at times back-breaking, and very interesting! I now look at my local landscape with new eyes. I will definitely volunteer again, if they will have me!’

Groups wanting to exhibit at the fair can do so free of charge. The event will run from 11am to 4pm and people are welcome to drop in at any time. For more details, contact Jim Mitchell on 01590 646681, email jim.mitchell@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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