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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ringing the changes with iconic red telephone box

It must be the only telephone box in the country to have had a red carpet ceremony and to be celebrated with its own website.

Residents from Emery Down near Lyndhurst turned out in force today (Thursday 28 April) to mark the opening of their phone box which has been transformed into a mini information and community centre.

(Left to right): National Park Interpretation Officer Jim Mitchell;
Emery Down residents Dr Ed Newman, Peter Powell and Adam Collins;
and National Park Chief Executive Alison Barnes at the opening of the
Silver Street telephone box.
With the phone now gone, residents persuaded Lyndhurst Parish Council to buy the box from BT for £1 in its UK-wide ‘adopt a kiosk’ scheme. Helped by the New Forest National Park Authority, they installed information and history panels, details for walkers, plus a swap shop of books, dvds and produce for locals. It also has a notice board advertising everything from film nights to church services.

Emery Down resident Peter Power is one of the driving forces behind the project. He said: ‘Thanks entirely to the hard work by village residents, and magnificent support from the New Forest National Park Authority, we now have a wonderfully restored kiosk - albeit minus a telephone - but now a centre to exchange books, DVDs, unwanted items, local produce and much more. There is even a dog bowl donated by the village pub (New Forest Inn), plus a map to where humans can have a drink! In particular, there is a large map of the Lyndhurst Parish Walk, which passes the kiosk, plus a large display of local history, all on permanent display. All donations go to the village church, which is close to the kiosk.’

Cutting the ribbon around the phone box, National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘The red telephone box is not just a British icon but a landscape icon. It is something we all identify with but is becoming more and more rare, so it is fantastic to keep something like this in the National Park landscape.

‘There has been huge energy and creativity behind this project – including rubbing down paint for hours on end – and you have certainly made the best of the space within it. It has been wonderful to be involved in this project.’

Find out more about the phone box at Silver Street, Emery Down, at


Thursday, 28 April 2011

New information panels for Hurst Castle

It is one of the highest vantage points on the New Forest coast and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Hurst Castle has just had two new interpretation panels installed on its battlements setting the castle in its historical landscape and explaining the archaeological and historical significance of the New Forest coast and the Solent channel.

Unveiling the panel-Left to right: Sean Crane, Custodian of Hurst Castle, Julian Johnson,
Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, James Brown, Maritime Archaeology
Education and Outreach Officer, Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest
National Park Authority, Fiona Wynne, Stewardship Manager at The Crown Estate and
Nigel Burt, Community Affairs Manager at ExxonMobil’s Fawley Refinery.

The panels have been funded by the New Forest Coastal Heritage Project as part of its education and outreach work.

James Brown, Maritime Archaeology Education and Outreach Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The New Forest coast contains a wealth of history and information about our past ancestors. Hurst Castle features heavily in the defensive history of the New Forest coast.

‘It’s unique location on the end of Hurst Spit and the ability to explore most of the castle will appeal to anyone with an interest in coastal archaeology. The new panels highlight just some of the vast history of the area and encourage visitors to think about how the landscape around them would change if you could rewind time.’

Fiona Wynne, Stewardship Manager at The Crown Estate added: ‘This is a great project which we are delighted to be able to contribute towards, and we hope that these panels will help visitors to understand and appreciate the importance of the area’s coastal zone.’

Nigel Burt, Community Affairs Manager at ExxonMobil’s Fawley Refinery also added: ‘The New Forest is such a diverse area and the coast is often overlooked. By being part of the Coastal Heritage Project we are promoting the coast to a whole new audience.’

Sean Crane, Custodian of Hurst Castle concluded: ‘Hurst Castle has such a vast history; it was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544, and used again in the Napoleonic war, and in World War II.

‘Since the castle opened to the public a number of exhibitions have been installed and we welcome these new information panels.’

Recommended Reading: Hurst Castle: An Illustrated History

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Iconic red telephone box gets a new lease of life

Telephone boxes used to be a thing of the past, but not any more thanks to the hard work of local residents, Lyndhurst Parish Council and the New Forest National Park Authority.

The iconic ‘red’ telephone boxes were being sold-off last year by BT in a UK-wide ‘adopt a kiosk’ scheme for one pound last year.

After much hard-work by the local community and funding from the National Park Authority, the telephone box has now been transformed back to its former glory, but with a twist.

The telephone box is on the Lyndhurst Parish walk, a 13.5km trail that takes in Lyndhurst village centre, Bolton’s Bench and the Forest. Now when walkers get to Sliver Street in Emery Down, they can stop at this much-loved historic icon and learn about the area’s history, borrow a book, purchase some vegetables and give their dog some water.

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This community has worked very hard on this project and should feel proud of what they have achieved. They have dedicated their own time in transforming a telephone booth into something that not only serves the whole community but also passers-by and walkers.

‘It’s been great to have been part of this scheme and we look forward to people using the kiosk and learning about this special area of the National Park.’

Peter Power, a resident of Emery Down and one of the driving forces behind this campaign added: ‘When I heard you could buy a historic piece of the UK’s history for the princely sum of one pound I knew we had to do it. Many people in the village still remember that you had to be connected by the local post mistress in the post office before you could even make a call!

‘Everyone in the community has got behind us and worked incredibly hard, donating their own time; the local pub even donated a dog bowl and all the profits made from selling vegetables will be donated to the local church a few yards away.’

To celebrate the unveiling of this much-loved icon the media is invited to attend a photo call on the 28 April at 10:30am on Silver Street at Emery Down (perhaps add in GPS/postcode?).

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

From coast to classroom

Bringing the coast to the classroom is the latest initiative from the New Forest National Park Authority.

On Wednesday 4 May, the St Barbe Maritime museum in Lymington will be awash with coastal maritime history that can be used by teachers as free educational resources in schools for Key Stage two pupils.

Teachers are invited to come and meet the Education teams from the National Park Authority and St Barbe Maritime Museum anytime from 12pm-6pm to learn about this new downloadable educational material.

Based specifically on the New Forest coast these resources are brimming with facts, activities, pictures, maps and games, and if that wasn’t all, teachers can book free loan boxes full of costumes, games, artefacts and replica objects.

Sue Palma, Education Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The New Forest coast is rich with history that is not only interesting but fun to learn about. We hope that these educational resources and loan boxes will make history not only relevant to local children but will be fun and interesting.

‘We want to excite children and help teachers integrate archaeology into the classroom. We hope this event will encourage teachers to come along and have a look to see what is on offer.’

The St Barbe museum is also hosting a Coastal Detectives’ exhibition to celebrate the end of a two-year project which saw the National Park Authority work with a range of partners. The exhibition is made-up of a series of panels, an interactive game and a series of coastal-inspired activities.

The Coastal Detectives exhibition will be on until the 29 May 2011. The exhibition opens on the 23 April 2011 with a day of archaeological activities to try and free entry. For more information about educational resources and the Coastal Heritage project visit

Thursday, 21 April 2011

National Park helps create nature reserve

James Brown, New Forest National Park Authority Ranger
with a Maybush Copse volunteer

Rangers from the New Forest National Park Authority are working with local volunteers from Landford to help turn an area of disused ground into a small nature reserve.

Maybush Copse was originally intended by Wiltshire Country Council to be the site for a new school, however these plans fell through, and it has stood a scrub ground for over 20 years, it have now given to Landford Parish Council for the benefit of the local area.

Rangers are working with the Parish Council to help create an open space that can be used and appreciated by the whole community. The Authority is funding the woodland clearance, a path and access gates, as well as helping with the clean-up operation.

‘Everyone has really got behind this project,’ says James Brown, the New Forest National Park Authority Ranger for the north of the Forest. ‘Our role is to help the Parish Council create an area that will benefit everyone; including local school children. There has been a great level of support from the volunteers who have given up their time to help clear up the debris.

‘Once the site is up and running visitors can look forward to the space becoming a hive of nature activity.’

David Bennett from Landford Parish Council added: ‘We’re really pleased to have had the help of the National Park Authority and have been overwhelmed by the level of support locally by people volunteering their time.

‘The whole community has come together through this project and we are looking forward to working with local schools and community groups.’

If you are interested in volunteering in the New Forest, visit the

Recommended Reading: New Forest (Landmark Visitor Guide)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The New Forest coast comes to Lymington

The St Barbe Museum in Lymington has become a hub of coastal archaeology thanks to the New Forest National Park Authority.

For the last two years’ Authority archaeologists and volunteers have been investigating the New Forest’s dynamic coastline as part of a joint-funded project.

Their aim was to investigate the 125,000 years of history from the pre-historic period right through to present day.

The ‘Coastal Detectives’ exhibition celebrates the discoveries made and records the unique journey of the project through a series of panels, an interactive game and a series of coastal inspired activities.

‘The New Forest has a vast history, the first people here travelled north from Europe when the English Channel and the Solent were both dry land,’ says the Authority’s Education and Outreach Officer, James Brown. ‘The New Forest provided a good location for a settlement with a wide variety of food, access to fresh water and resources for building. When sea levels rose 7,000 years ago, people settled along the New Forest Coast.’

He continued: ‘With rising sea levels and the risk of climate change it is important that we make a detailed record of the past so that it’s not lost. We’re also looking at how we can predict coastal changes in the future; the New Forest coast is very flat and made mainly from clay and gravel, it’s a soft landscape that can change very quickly. By looking at how change has affected people in the past we can think about how to protect the coast’s future.’

The exhibition is not limited just to dry land. Mark James, Archaeology Project Officer at the Authority, adds: ‘Much of the New Forest’s history is actually underwater, a lot of diving was undertaken to survey known shipwrecks and investigate previously unexplored areas of the sea bed. It is thought that the Solent could have witnessed over 5000 wrecks. There are currently 75 recorded wrecks on the Shingles Bank on the entrance to the Western Solent.

‘This work is so important; the Solent is at risk from offshore dredging, fishing and from the action of the waves, tides and marine life.’

The Coastal Detective exhibition will be at the St Barbe Museum until the 29th May 2011. The exhibition opens on the 23rd April 2011 with a day of archaeological activities to try and free entry. For more information about the Coastal Heritage project visit

Sunday, 10 April 2011

New Forest foodies urged to nominate their favourite local produce

Food fans are invited to nominate their favourite New Forest produce in a special category of the Hampshire Life Food and Drink Awards.

People are asked to put forward a New Forest food or drink producer who carries the New Forest Marque® and who has made an outstanding contribution to the quality and diverse range of produce in the area during the past year.

Produce which carries the Marque is grown, reared, caught or brewed in the New Forest to high welfare and quality standards.

Sarah Richards, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘The Marque is the only contracted scheme that audits its farmers and producers to ensure a minimum content comes from the New Forest. A series of stringent standards have to be adhered to before the product receives its ‘marque’ of approval.’

Regarded as the Oscars of the local food and drink industry, the Hampshire Life Food and Drink Awards celebrate the finest produce that Hampshire has to offer and give valuable recognition to producers, growers, suppliers and hospitality venues.

Everyone who sends in a nomination will be entered into a draw to win two VIP tickets (worth £120) to attend the awards ceremony at The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire at Hook on 25 August.

If you would like to put a producer forward for the New Forest Marque category of the awards, nomination forms are available in Hampshire Life Magazine, or from

To find out more about the New Forest Marque scheme, visit

Closing date for entries is 31 May 2011.

Friday, 8 April 2011

All the fun of the fair at Applemore College this Easter

Start your Easter holidays in style with a visit to Applemore College’s Easter Fair on Saturday 9 April, supported by the New Forest Educator’s Forum.

The college, in Dibden Purlieu, will be hosting an extravaganza of events and workshops which promise a great day out for the whole family.

Free events include a chance to learn more about the New Forest with the New Forest Educator’s Forum. The Forum, coordinated by the New Forest National Park Authority, is made up of over 20 Outdoor Education providers operating in the National Park.

Sue Palma, the National Park Authority’s Education Officer, said: ‘A wide range of activities for children of all ages will be on offer to showcase the variety of outdoor learning available in the New Forest. With games to play, craft activities and animals to admire, there will be plenty of opportunities to find out just how much fun learning outside can be.’

Other attractions at the Easter Fair include an indoor Fun Zone with bouncy castle, face painting and karaoke provided by St John’s Ambulance Youth section.

Mountain bike free rider Grant Fielder will perform stunts and tricks, and if you bring along your bike and helmet, there’s a chance for children to complete their level 1 Bikeability cycling certificate free of charge.

Adults can find out what Applemore College’s lifelong learning programme has to offer by taking part in class taster sessions.

Other attractions include a craft fair, local business fair, Scouts and Guides displays, and an afternoon tea dance and the fun starts at 10am.

Organiser Terry Noble, of Applemore College, said: ‘It will be a great day out for all the family and we’re delighted to have so many different organisations involved in the event.’

For a full programme, visit the events section of the college’s website at

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

New Forest National Park - Help for traditional building skills

Subsidised courses for making repairs to timber-frame buildings, cob walling and using lime plaster and render are now on offer to small businesses in the New Forest.

The New Forest National Park Authority has secured £20,000 of funding from the New Forest RDPE (Leader) programme*, to deliver two years of subsidised training for small businesses of fewer than 10 employees, who are based in the New Forest.

Kathryn Boler, External Funding Officer, said: ‘The New Forest has a rich cultural heritage with a wide range of historic buildings which require specialist skills to maintain and alter them. There is a high demand from property owners for craftsmen with traditional skills and an understanding of how to repair and look after historic buildings.

‘The heavily subsidised courses will offer workshops for local building companies and architects who wish to specialise in this type of work. It is important that historic buildings are well restored and preserved for future generations to enjoy.

‘The training also opens up new avenues for local craftsmen, allowing them to be more competitive and take on new areas of work.

‘We have already had a number of businesses sign up and many more are expressing an interest.’

Local resident and Architect Julia Tremain has been on two workshops and says: ‘These courses represent excellent value for money. I have found it useful to take a step back from everyday work to look at the wider picture. On the lime plaster course we discussed how the building industry is moving away from the excessive use of cement based products to ones that enable buildings to breathe. This is especially important for old buildings but also relevant to new buildings as we move to more sustainable construction.’

The project provides training at a third of the usual cost and will take place at a number of specialists rural craft centres.

If you would like to learn more or to find out what courses are on offer contact Kathryn Boler by email at or telephone 01590 646690.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Bransgore - The Small Furry Show 16th April

On April 16th The Small Furry Hotel will be sponsoring The Small Furry Show to raise funds for the small animal department of Waggy Tails Rescue. At Merryfield Park, Derritt Lane, Bransgore. BH23 8AU

Entries from 12.30 Judging starts at 1pm

There are 13 fun classes with rosettes to 4th Place

  1. Prettiest Female Rabbit
  2. Prettiest Female Guinea Pig
  3. Handsomest Rabbit
  4. Handsomest Guinea Pig
  5. Cutest pair of Rabbits
  6. Cutest pair of Guinea Pigs
  7. Best Condition Rabbit.
  8. Best Condition Guinea Pig.
  9. Rabbit The Judge Would most like to take home.
  10. Guinea Pig The Judge Would most like to take home.
  11. Best Childs Pet.
  12. Pet who has not won anything all day.
  13. Best in Show.

There will also be:

  • Meet Herman & Greta the giant rabbits and guess their to win £20
  • A great raffle with some fantastic prizes on offer.
  • Rabbit and Guinea Pig grooming demo.
  • Ringwood vet’s will be there to answer and health related questions.
  • The Waggy Tails rescue Furries will be there
  • Lots of stalls
  • Bouncy castles from

If you have a small furry or are considering getting a small furry then this event is a must. More information can be found by following the link on

All rabbits must be vaccinated – Please bring vaccination card.
Strictly no dogs
All animals should be in suitable carriers – No Cardboard