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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Things to do over the Easter Weekend in the New Forest - Top 10 websites

I have put together my top ten websites to find all the fantastic Easter holiday events, activities that are happening in the New Forest area. Hope you find what you are looking for and do have a wonderful Easter weekend!

For great Easter pictures:
Easter Holiday Activities | The New Forest Official Visitor Site
See all the fantastic Easter holiday activities and events that are available throughout The New Forest this spring – A perfect day out for all the family.

New Forest Easter events for you to enjoy!
New Forest Easter. Explore and discover with me everything I can recommend in this lovely National Park at Easter.

Things to Do at Easter in the New Forest | Easter Holiday Ideas
Looking for things to do this Easter in the New Forest? We’ve put together this list of our favourite Easter activities, perfect for all ages.

Easter at New Forest Activities
Join us this Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday for our Canoeing Easter Egg Hunt!

Easter Activities in the New Forest - New Forest Activities
Join us for Easter Activities in the New Forest. From Canoe Easter Egg Hunts to Family Adventure Days, and introducing the new Kids Woodland Adventure Days!

Things to do in The New Forest for kids | Places to go with children | Fun cheap family activities
kids days out The New Forest, things to do The New Forest, cheap, family days out The New Forest, fun, places to visit, free, days out in The New Forest, places to go, for kids, with kids, The New Forest days out, children, family, The New Forest.

Top 30 things to do in New Forest, Hampshire: New Forest Attractions
Top 30 things to do in New Forest. Reviews and photos of New Forest tourist attractions. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in April. We have reviews of the best places to see in New Forest.

Easter Holiday Activities - New Forest Health & Leisure
Ever wanted to walk on water, or run the gauntlet on a pool inflatable, or enjoy swimming with friends, or want to make some new friends? Come and give it a try at New Forest Health and Leisure.  We pack in the fun when school's closed!

Easter holidays in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight - National Trust
Find Easter holiday fun at National Trust places in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Cadbury Easter egg trails and more.

Canoeing Easter Egg Hunt at New Forest Activities - Sporting Event in Brockenhurst, New Forest - Visit Hampshire
Join us this Easter Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday for our Canoeing Easter Egg Hunt! Get to grips with your canoe before heading out to explore the river to discover the secret Eater Egg stash.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

New Forest Access Forum - Become a member and make a difference

Members are being sought for the New Forest Access Forum, which gives advice on improving access for walking, horse riding, cycling and other outside recreation in and around the New Forest.

The Access Forum is an independent advisory body made up of volunteers with experience of issues affecting public access to the countryside and coast. It assesses the needs of a wide range of groups that use the Forest, before advising local and national organisations on access issues.

Applications are welcome from anyone who has knowledge or experience in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Leisure and recreation
  • Farming and land management
  • Nature conservation
  • Education
  • Health
  • Tourism

The needs of young people, minority groups and local businesses.
The Forum meets four times a year and travel expenses to and from meetings are provided. Members of the Forum are formally appointed for a term of three years by Hampshire County Council and the New Forest National Park Authority.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The work of the Access Forum is essential to the New Forest. Organisations such as the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and the highways authorities value the advice of the Forum as they know it will take into account a wide variety of viewpoints.

‘I would urge anyone with an interest in the improvement of countryside access in the New Forest to consider applying to join the Forum.’

For more information contact Access Forum secretary Vicki Gibbon on 01590 646647 or email Application packs are available on request, or can be downloaded from

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 24 April, and new members should be available for the next meeting on 1 June.

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Monday, 16 March 2015

The New Forest Land Advice Service celebrate 5 years supporting rural businesses

The New Forest’s commoners, landowners and farmers are celebrating the fifth anniversary of a service that helps them and wildlife thrive in the National Park.

New Forest Land Advice Service helping rural businesses and wildlife in the New Forest National Park.
Julie Melin-Stubbs, Land Advice Service manager; Rhys Morgan, Land Advice Service advisor;
Angela Peters, Community Wildlife Plans officer; Tracé Williams, Land Advice Service advisor.

The New Forest Land Advice Service supports rural businesses with advice on land management and nature conservation, access to rural skills training courses, and help when applying for grants.

This work includes supporting commoners to ensure they can continue to make use of the ancient rights attached to their property to turn out livestock onto the open areas of the New Forest – a vital tradition as the grazing animals shape the area’s unique landscape.

The service’s notable achievements over the last five years include:

  • Reintroducing ponies and cattle to sites in Milford on Sea and New Milton for the first time in over 50 years, to encourage wildlife and support local farmers and commoners
  • Running the Better Boundaries project, which created more than 600m of laid hedges, 1,000m of hedgerows and 1,600m of wildflower field margins to act as wildlife corridors
  • Leading volunteers in a national pilot study of water quality on the River Blackwater in the north of the New Forest, and removing more than 2,000m of the invasive Himalayan balsam plant from its river banks.
  • The Land Advice was established by the New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Natural England in 2010, and is now also funded by the Verderers.

Since then, it has helped more than 100 businesses each year and has widened the scope of its work significantly. This includes launching the Community Wildlife Plans Project, which is helping eight communities to care for their local environment.

The outlook for the service remains bright, as it develops four complex wildlife conservation and rural skills projects, to be delivered over the next three years as part of the proposed New Forest Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Commoner Oliver Cook, from Brockenhurst, said: ‘The Land Advice Service has been increasingly active in providing advice and arranging education for farmers and commoners in the New Forest over the past five years.

‘Having them at the end of a phone is very comforting indeed for commoners facing increasingly tight regulations and more administration in their efforts to continue rearing stock.’

Alison Barnes, New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive, said: ‘We have been delighted to support the Land Advice Service over the last five years, as it has worked to help hundreds of farmers, commoners and landowners in the National Park.

‘It is vital we continue to support those at the heart of the living, working forest to ensure that the New Forest continues to have a thriving rural economy, and the Land Advice Service plays a pivotal role in achieving this aim. I congratulate the service on a successful first five years and look forward to many more years of success as it continues to grow.’

Official Verderer Dominic May said: ‘The New Forest Land Advice Service plays an important advisory role in helping commoners deliver the obligations of the Verderers’ New Forest Higher Level Stewardship Agreement, by helping commoners farm their holdings in a more ecologically-sustainable manner.

‘The service has also carried out a baseline survey of the New Forest, which we are using to improve specific areas which need open forest management intervention. This survey will be repeated in a few years to see whether the management intervention has had the desired effect.’

Bob Chapman, Living Landscape Manager for Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: ‘The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has always been a keen partner in the New Forest Land Advice Service. The work that NFLAS does has been key in supporting landowners, commoners and others in delivering the healthy pastoral economy upon which the unique qualities of the Forest depend.’

If you are a farmer, commoner or landowner and would like more information on the advice and training available, please contact Julie Melin-Stubbs on 01590 646696 or

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Friday, 13 March 2015

Brockenhurst - Could your business become a Local Information Point?

Local Information Point at Brockenhurst
Businesses in Brockenhurst are being invited to become a focal point of information for visitors and local people.

The New Forest National Park Authority is looking to recruit a business to join the network of Local Information Points throughout the Forest. They provide visitors and residents with easy access to information about the National Park and are stocked with maps, leaflets and publications about what to see and where to go.

Business owners who host a Local Information Point will receive training, support and an annual contribution of £250 from the Authority, as well as being advertised in a range of publications and websites as an information point.

The call for applicants comes at the start of Visit England’s English Tourism Week (14 to 22 March), which highlights the value of the industry to the local economy.

Ken Wilson, from Sway Deli and Coffee Shop, a Local Information Point since 2012, said: ‘Becoming a Local Information Point has helped attract people into our shop which has helped our business. We’ve also enjoyed learning more background details about the Forest and helping visitors make the most of their time in the National Park. The information and training the Authority provides are extremely helpful and supportive.’

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer at the Authority, said: ‘The Local Information Point scheme has proved to be extremely successful since starting in 2008. The scheme is about recognising and supporting the great work that local businesses play in championing the New Forest and what makes it special.

‘Ideally we’re looking for a business in central Brockenhurst, which could be a shop, tea room or other premises.’

Local Information Points can be found throughout the New Forest including in Beaulieu, Burley, Hythe, Landford, Milford-on-Sea, Minstead, Sway, Woodgreen and at a former telephone kiosk in Emery Down.

For more information on how to apply to become a Local Information Point in Brockenhurst visit to download the application pack or contact Jim Mitchell on Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Monday, April 13.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

World War I flying ace Kink commemorated

On 12 March 1928, World War I flying ace Flight Lieutenant Samuel ‘Kink’ Kinkead took off in a seaplane from RAF Calshot in the New Forest.

The nation watched on as he attempted to become the first pilot to break the 300 mph barrier, but the flight was to be his last.

WWI Flying Ace Kink commemorated
Frank Green, National Park archaeologist; Canon Stuart Holt, Fawley Church,
and Julian Lewis MP stand by the grave of Samuel Kinkead.
As Kink increased his speed and flew low across the water, tragedy struck. The plane inexplicably nosedived, and one of the Great War’s most celebrated pilots died instantly as he struck the water.

He was laid to rest four days later at All Saints Church in Fawley, where his grave still stands as testament to his skill and bravery.

Now, the New Forest National Park Authority is seeking to keep the memory of Samuel Kinkead alive, and celebrate the history of All Saints at Fawley and the area’s other churches in a new leaflet.

The fatal crash was a dramatic end to an extraordinary life, which saw Kink win six decorations for securing at least 33 victories as a fighter pilot on the Western Front and against the Bolsheviks in Russia. He also excelled as a pilot in the annual seaplane race for the Schneider Trophy; at Venice in 1927 he flew at 277 mph to break the biplane seaplane world speed record.

The impact of Kink’s life was illustrated by the reaction to his death. His achievements were marked by a leader article in The Times, and by the Secretary of State for Air, Sir Samuel Hoare, who told the House of Commons that, had he lived, he might well have reached the very top of the Royal Air Force.

The latest churches leaflet, the third in a series on the New Forest’s historical churches, contains pictures and facts on four sites:

  • All Saints, Fawley
  • St Paul’s, East Boldre
  • St Katharine’s, Exbury
  • Church of the blessed Virgin and Child, Beaulieu.

Julian Lewis MP, author of ‘Racing Ace’, the biography of Samuel Kinkead, said: ‘Kink was a real-life ‘Boy’s Own’ hero, venerated by his brother officers. A group of them set up a special fund to pay for his portrait in the RAF Club in London, his trophy at Cranwell and his memorial stone at All Saints, Fawley. His seaplane, designed by R J Mitchell, was a direct ancestor of the Spitfire.

‘The test pilots who flew such machines were the astronauts of their day, and it is right that their bravery should always be remembered.’

Frank Green, New Forest National Park Authority archaeologist, said: ‘The story of Samuel Kinkead gives a flavour of the fascinating history within the New Forest’s historical churches, many of which are featured in this series of leaflets.

‘In order to appreciate our local area, it’s important to take an interest in its history and I hope this latest leaflet will help people to do this, while encouraging them to visit their local church to find out more about its past.’

Canon Stuart Holt of All Saints, Fawley, said: ‘It was a wonderful surprise to hear that we were being featured in this leaflet by the National Park Authority, and we hope that people who see this leaflet will be inspired to come and visit All Saints and share in the wonderful church that we have here.’

To find out more about the New Forest’s historical churches, and download your own copies of the leaflets, visit

These leaflets are supported by Hampshire Historic Churches Trust. To find out more about its work to conserve old churches visit

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