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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Village Life One Hundred Years Ago

A VILLAGE ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
by Neil Hotson

The morning started with the theft of a bicycle, value £5 (£400 at today's rate) from outside the saddler's shop. The thief could expect to be pursued to the next village and beyond by the village constable, determined to apprehend the offender.

Further down the High Street a load of straw is delivered outside the big house. It is spread over the road to deaden the noise of cartwheels as there is someone very ill in the house.

On the other side of the village a funeral procession, comprising a Washington carriage and a lesser carriage, each pulled by a pair of horses, moves slowly towards the churchyard. The houses en route shutter their windows or pull down their blinds as a mark of respect.

That afternoon the weekly Petty Sessions is held in the upper rooms of the public house. First up before the magistrates is a group of teenagers, charged with "loitering near a place of divine service" as they were caught in a huddle twenty yards from the church last Sunday evening. Next is the dairyman, for watering his milk yet again.

As darkness falls, the slate clubs meet in the various pubs and the regatta committee meet in the village hall to discuss this year's event. The Territorial Army finishes its meeting with a rendition of the National Anthem and the pubs begin to fill up again.

At the crossroads, the policeman wonders how many would "refuse to quit licensed premises" tonight. The estate keepers are concealed in the woods, ready to pounce on night-poachers, and in the big field, the travelling circus, with its elephant and big cats, is resting for the night.

What would the villagers of those days think of our times?

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The New Forest by Matthew Conway
Featuring a mixture of history, folklore and stories of interest, this book explores the culture and wildlife of the New Forest. From it deer, which for centuries were hunted exclusively by the Kings of England, to the thousands of trees that were the cornerstone of the English Navy, this fascinating volume illustrates how flora and fauna are interwoven with the forest's heritage, and pays special attention to its wildlife.  As well as providing a backdrop of history, this affectionate look at the forest will inspire readers to explore the area themselves. Read more...

Monday, 10 December 2012

NFNPA Working with local communities to increase wildlife

Angela Peters
A one year pilot project to encourage local communities to identify wildlife habitats such as grassland, hedgerows, ponds, rivers and woodland is now looking for volunteers.

The project will focus on the areas of Godshill, Hordle, Landford, Marchwood, Milford on Sea, New Milton and Wellow to develop community wildlife plans.

The New Forest National Park Authority will work with these local groups to encourage greater involvement in recording, mapping and conserving wildlife.

Angela Peters, who previously worked at the National Trust in Dorset, has just taken up the position of Community Wildlife Plans Project Officer at the National Park Authority: ‘This is such a great project to be involved in,’ she said. ‘I’m looking forward to working with local community and volunteer groups and to provide training to increase people’s skills and confidence in surveying plants and animals.

‘When we have this new information I will be working with these groups to investigate how to improve their green spaces for wildlife.’

Keith Metcalf, Parish Clerk at Milford on Sea Parish Council, said: ‘We are looking forward to working closely with Angela. There is a wealth of wildlife on our doorstep and it is a great opportunity for local people to work together to increase green spaces where they live and to encourage youngsters to become the custodians of our local wildlife heritage.’

Angela is looking for people with an interest in animals, flowers, birds, bats or bees to become ‘wildlife champions’.

There is also an opportunity for map work, data collection and getting involved with community events, walks, talks and practical conservation work.

For more information about this project or to find out how get involved visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/wildlife-plans.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New Park Brockenhurst Christmas Fair this weekend

For a true New Forest Christmas why not choose your Christmas tree and pick up some unique gifts at over 70 stalls in the heart of the Forest this weekend?

For 2014 Brockenhurst Christmas Fair CLICK HERE

The New Forest and Hampshire County Show opens its gates to its first free Christmas Fair, with New Forest Marque members Rosie Lea tearooms and Setley Ridge Farm Shop selling hot local food and soup, as well as tasty hot chocolate and mulled wine.

There is also a lot on offer for children, including making reindeer with National Park Authority Rangers, face painting, Santa’s post box, a pony driven sleigh from 2pm each day, Christmas carols, a brass band and even Santa will be making a brief appearance over the weekend.

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager and Fair Co-ordinator, said: ‘The New Forest is full of artisan food producers and craft makers and what better way to promote what they do than at a Christmas Fair. Here you can do all your Christmas shopping in one place.’

Gary North, Recreation Manager at the Forestry Commission, said: ‘The Forestry Commission will be selling a large range of home grown spruce and fir trees, including the non-drop variety.

‘There is nothing quite like the smell of a real Christmas tree in your home. Our trees are sustainably grown in the UK, with at least one tree being planted to replace each one that is harvested. We have Christmas trees of every shape and size and our expert staff are available to help you pick, wrap and carry the perfect Christmas tree to your car.’

Dennis Dooley, Show Secretary at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show, said: ‘We are pleased to be involved in an event that brings local businesses together in one place.

‘We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Fair. New Park is a great location and people have been buying their Christmas trees here from the Forestry Commission for many years.

New Forest Christmas Fair at New Park Brockenhurst SO42 7QH - Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th December - 10am-4pm.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Forest Christmas treasure trail marks first New Park Christmas Fair

Top prizes are on offer to anyone who finds a gold Christmas decoration hidden in the New Forest National Park from Friday 30 November to Friday 7 December, to celebrate the first Christmas Fair at New Park near Brockenhurst.

The six golden baubles could be hidden in a tree, on the Forest floor, on a bench or by a path and there are eight days to find them all.

Prizes donated are:

  • Midweek lunch for two with a bottle of wine at The Pig, Brockenhurst
  • Spa day for two at SenSpa at Carey’s Manor, Brockenhurst
  • Breakfast for two at the Old Farmhouse Restaurant and Tearooms, Burley
  • A family ticket for four to next year’s New Forest Show
  • A Christmas tree and wreath from the Forestry Commission
  • A year’s family membership to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

The free Christmas Fair at New Park on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December is the perfect place to get into the festive spirit and to do all your Christmas shopping in one place.

There will be over 70 stands selling unique and bespoke gifts and New Forest Marque members Rosie Lea tearooms and Setley Ridge Farm Shop will be selling hot local food and soup, as well as tasty hot chocolate and mulled wine.

There is also lots on offer for children including making reindeer with National Park Authority Rangers, face painting, a Santa’s post box, a pony driven sleigh from 2pm each day, Christmas carols and even Santa will be making a brief appearance over the weekend.

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager and Fair Co-ordinator, said: ‘The New Forest is full of artisan food producers and craft makers and what better way to promote what they do than at a Christmas Fair.

‘Joining up with the Forestry Commission is a great way for everyone to do all their Christmas shopping in one place.’

Gary North, Recreation Manager at the Forestry Commission, said: ‘The Forestry Commission will be selling a large range of home grown spruce and fir trees, including the non-drop variety from 1 December.

‘There is nothing quite like the smell of a real Christmas tree in your home. Our trees are sustainably grown in the UK, with at least one tree being planted to replace each one that is harvested. We have Christmas trees of every shape and size and our expert staff are available to help you pick, wrap and carry the perfect Christmas tree to your car.’

Dennis Dooley, Show Secretary at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show, said: ‘We are pleased to be involved in an event that brings local businesses together in one place.

‘We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the Fair. New Park is a great location and people have been buying their Christmas trees here from the Forestry Commission for many years.’

For more information about the event visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/christmas-fair.