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Sunday, 24 November 2013

New Forest Christmas Brockenhurst - Get into the festive spirit

New Forest Christmas Fair New Park BrockenhurstWith locally produced seasonal gifts, tasty hot food and Santa’s grotto, the New Forest Christmas Fair is perfect for getting into the festive spirit this winter.

After last year’s successful inaugural event, which attracted over 4,500 visitors, the Fair is returning to New Park, Brockenhurst from Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 December.

The gates are open from 10am until 4pm, with an expanded number of stalls, food outlets and activities. Visitors can purchase their Forestry Commission Christmas tree, enjoy a glass of mulled wine, browse for interesting or unusual locally sourced presents, or sample delicious festive food.

Many of the traders are members of the New Forest Marque, a quality assurance scheme supported by the National Park Authority. The Marque promotes authentic New Forest fare of the highest quality, and encourages people to shop locally.

If you are a local trader we would like to hear from you, as there are still some stalls available. Make sure you join the many businesses that make the most of this prime opportunity to sell their goods during the build-up to Christmas.

Marque member Hollyhock Flock, a flock of Gotland sheep based in the New Forest, attended the fair last year to sell their woolly goods. The flock’s founder Sue Cole said: ‘The Fair gets everything right - there are lots of great stalls to buy exciting presents and seasonal goodies, and many of the traders are local.

‘The whole event has such a friendly and festive atmosphere, so much so that there are quite a few people who come both days because they have such a good time. It was everything a Christmas fair should be and this year’s event promises to be even better.’

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager and Fair co-ordinator, said: ‘Last year the event was a huge success, and the 2013 fair will have even more attractions and stalls for visitors to enjoy.

‘Take advantage of the fantastic range of local products on offer and remove the hassle from Christmas by doing all your shopping in one place.’

Gary North, Recreation Manager at the Forestry Commission, said: 'We can’t promise a white Christmas but we can help you make it green!

‘Nothing beats the experience and smell of a real tree, which use about 10 times fewer materials and five times less energy than artificial trees - and they smell divine. You can be sure that our knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you choose the shape and size that suits you best, and wrap it up ready for you to take home.'

For more information on the fair, or to reserve a trading stall at the event, email or phone 01590 622400.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Story of our Coast: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington
30th November 2013 – 25th January 2014

The Story of our Coast: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy, a new exhibition at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington, looks at how the ever-changing south Hampshire coast has played a defining role in the area’s history and why it has been a source of fascination for centuries. Opening on Saturday 30th November, it will run until Saturday 25th January 2014.

The coast has been central to the development of Lymington, its salt industry, port and boat building, and to the growth of Milford and Barton as seaside resorts. Its strategic importance is shown by the building of Hurst Castle by Henry VIII and the World War II anti-invasion defences. Myths and stories have also grown up to become entwined with fact such as giant tidal waves engulfing houses and tunnels, where smugglers hid their booty.

Great visions for the future have been inspired by the coast, but many have never reached fruition. Discover historic plans for a suspension bridge at Lymington, a pier at Milford and a tunnel to connect Keyhaven with the Isle of Wight. Should we be grateful these plans were never progressed, or would they have changed the region for the better? Visit the exhibition and come to your own conclusion.

The exhibition is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tickets to The Story of our Coast and St Barbe Museum, which is open between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday, cost £4 for adults, £3 for senior citizens and students, £2 for children aged five to 15, and £10 for a family of two adults and up to four children; under fives are admitted free of charge.

For more details visit or telephone 01590 676969.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sustainable Tourism and Conservation Accolades for Camping in the Forest

Camping in the Forest has reinforced its commitment to making a low impact on the environment and local culture by achieving impressive results in both the David Bellamy Conservation Awards and the Green Tourism Awards.

Camping in the Forest Conservation Accolades
Camping in the Forest is a keen supporter of the outdoor lifestyle and understands that conserving the natural environment on its campsites, and supporting the local economy at the same time, is key to sustaining its green reputation.

Fifteen Camping in the Forest Sites received a David Bellamy ‘Gold’ award – the highest possible level of excellence: Aldridge Hill, Ashurst, Bracelands, Cobleland, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, Hollands Wood, Holmsley, Ocknell, Longbeech, Postern Hill, Roundhill, Setthorns, Beddgelert and Glenmore.

Notably, Bracelands campsite also achieved a ‘Silver’ award.

Local wildlife assessors looked at the steps the sites took to manage their land as a haven for wildlife; reduce their use of energy, water and other resources; reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce; and support their local communities.

A further five sites also achieved gold star ratings in the Green Tourism Business Scheme - Cashel, Christchurch, Cobleland, Glenmore and Postern Hill.

Aldridge Hill, Ashurst, Beddgelert, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, Hollands Wood, Holmsley, Ocknell, Longbeech, Roundhill and Setthorns also received ‘Silver’ star ratings.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme recognises places to stay and visit that are taking action to support the local area and the wider environment. It’s the largest sustainable green scheme to operate globally and assesses hundreds of fantastic places to stay and visit in Britain.

Bob Hill, The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Sites Director, said: “Once again, our Camping in the Forest Sites have excelled themselves and have achieved some brilliant results - it really is a fantastic effort by all of our site teams.

“We hope these accolades encourage holidaymakers to visit our sites and enjoy spending time in the local area – holidaying in the UK is certainly continuing to flourish.”

To book at pitch at any of our Camping in the Forest Sites telephone; 0845 130 8224 or 024 7642 3008 or online: