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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

New Forest Ponies Firework Display Warning

New Forest ponies and a fireworks display.
Fireworks display organisers in the New Forest are being asked to be aware of New Forest PoniesNew Forest Ponies and other animals to avoid causing them injuries and distress. 

The livestock in the National Park can be easily frightened by loud bangs and bright lights on Guy Fawkes Night, causing them to panic and to run into the road or into fencing and injuring themselves.

Fiona Macdonald, Chairman of the New Forest Equine Forum, said: ‘We want everyone to enjoy the Bonfire night celebrations. However, we would ask that anyone thinking about organising a local firework display speak to their neighbouring landowners first so that those responsible for grazing animals can take necessary precautions to safeguard their stock. Horses are easily spooked by a sudden burst of fireworks, which can cause them a great deal of distress.’

Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We would ask people to bear in mind that the ponies and cattle on the Forest are greatly affected by fireworks and that frightened animals can run onto the road.’

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

New Forest artist Sandy Poynter named Public’s favourite

Sandy Poynter New Forest Open Art exhibition winner
Sandy Poynter (right) with her People’s Prize
winning painting and New Forest Centre
manager Hilary Marshall.
A Brockenhurst-based artist Sandy Poynter has scooped a prize for her painting after record numbers of visitors saw the New Forest Open Art exhibition.

Over 14,000 people attended the exhibition at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst this summer, viewing dozens of pieces of art inspired by the wildlife, landscape and traditions of the New Forest.

More than 800 votes were cast by visitors to the annual exhibition, and Sandy Poynter’s painting was the clear winner, earning her a £100 prize.

The exhibition and associated competition were run by the New Forest National Park Authority and the New Forest Centre, and were sponsored by ExxonMobil at the Fawley Refinery.

Sandy said: ‘I’m thrilled to have won the People’s Prize in this year’s New Forest Open Art exhibition at the New Forest Centre. I’ve always had a passion for horses and I’m delighted that so many people have recognised and shared that passion with me through my painting.’

John Pemberton, New Forest National Park Authority member and trustee of the New Forest Centre, said: ‘It is easy to see why Sandy’s painting received the most votes from visitors to this summer’s Open Art exhibition. I congratulate her for triumphing over so many other accomplished artists, all of whom take their inspiration from the special qualities of the New Forest.’

If you’d like to see more of Sandy’s award-winning art, you can view her gallery on www.equestrianartists.co.uk.

View a video of the preview evening and an online photo gallery of this year’s entries at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/openart2015.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Prestigious CPRE Hampshire Countryside awards for New Forest projects

Pondhead Conservation Trust volunteers Derek Tippetts
and Dave Dibden are presented with their
Community and Voluntary award, presented by
Gemma Lacey from The Southern Co-operative.
Volunteer projects returning traditional skills to the New Forest have been recognised by a countryside awards scheme.

Pondhead Conservation Trust and Buckler’s Hard Shipwright School were victorious in the annual Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Hampshire awards.

Both projects are funded by the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF), which aims to strengthen the well-being and sustainability of communities within the National Park.

The CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards was established in 2007 to recognise projects that enhance the environment and quality of life in the county.

Winner of the Green Buildings category was the Shipwrights School at Buckler’s Hard, which received a £20,000 SCF grant and is now home to students on rotation from the International Boatbuilding Training College in Portsmouth. It is hoped that the school will also help visitors to the attraction near Beaulieu will gain a better understanding of the industry which gave the village a place in British naval history.

Pondhead Conservation Trust won the Community and Voluntary category for its volunteers’ work to manage Pondhead Inclosure near Lyndhurst using traditional woodland skills. The charity received £23,000 from the SCF and aims to encourage a greater diversity of wildlife and plant life in the inclosure, as well as making the area more accessible for local people.

Marian Spain, National Park Authority Member, said: ‘I’d like to congratulate both these projects on their awards; they’re excellent examples of the benefits of the Sustainable Communities Fund.

‘We’re continuing to support projects that conserve the biodiversity of the National Park or encourage people to travel car-free and I look forward to supporting many more award-winning schemes in the future.’

Derek Tippetts, from Pondhead Conservation Trust, said: ‘Our project was set up to support and continue our coppice manager, Dave Dibden’s restoration work in this 76 hectare area of woodland in the heart of the New Forest in order to improve its biodiversity and public enjoyment.

‘We regard this prestigious award in our first year of operation as the "icing on the cake". It would not have been possible without our willing band of volunteers who turn up come rain or shine so this award is very much their award. If you would like to join us it's easy to do so on our website at www.pondheadconservation.org.uk.’

The SCF is a grants scheme run by the New Forest National Park Authority that helps promote sustainable living and working within the National Park, with grants available for up to 75 per cent of a project’s cost.

This year the fund is looking to support projects that:

  • Provide sustainable transport options, to help enable visitors and residents to travel car-free in the New Forest and reduce the impact of traffic. 
  • Conserve the biodiversity of the National Park by supporting local landowners to deliver wildlife conservation improvements and resilience against climate change.

To find out more visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/grants.