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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Do I Move

New Forest Scene by Mark Upfield
I awake on a misty morning at 4am ready for my hour drive into the national park, I know the location I want to photograph. I have been watching the heather develop over the last few years and know that the colour in the autumn is spectacular.

I hit the road and turn the music up to make sure my sleepy eyes don't get the better of me. It is always a case for me to having a couple of locations lined up just incase the first one isn't producing exactly what i'm after so I drive passed the first two and no colour, my hopes of a perfect image are becoming weak. I park up at Bratley view and start my ten minute walk to what I call Mogshade Hill, sure enough there it was; purple everywhere I look and the mist just lifting out of the valley.

My mind starts to wonder as I line up my composition:

  • Is this the best angle...
  • Will the mist go exactely where I want...
  • The sun may get blocked by the cloud should I move...

Mark Upfield photo of New Forest
These are things that always play on my mind, I usually find that if I change location then it's not good enough, but if I stay at least I can say I have tried. Sure enough I stay put, there is still an hour until the sun will break the horizon so I set an alarm for 40 minutes time, lay back with my head on the camera bag and the camera set up in front of me and shut my eyes. I don't sleep, I never do but it's so relaxing listening to the birds at this time in the morning and feeling the cold autumn wind just brushing your face every now and then. I open my eyes every few minutes just to see what is developing on the horizon, the mist is starting to lift as the ground warms up and the sky is starting to glow some fantastic colours.

Time to shoot... The alarm goes off and I know that in 20 minutes time the sun will just be above the horizon. The image I have in mind will require the sun being slightly higher but its always worth a play before hand. As the cloud starts to fully light up my adreniline starts kicking in and the excitment is taking over, as the first light hits everything lights up and the image I have been after is captured! For good measure I shoot a vertical format one as well and prefer the composition!

Author: Mark Upfield - Fine art prints and products and 1-2-1 Photography lessons.
Facebook: Telephone: 07896108104


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...

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Video: Driving safely across the New Forest National Park

The famous New Forest ponies have the road sense of a two-year-old child and have the right of way on New Forest roads.

They roam free in the National Park as it's their grazing and activity which helps to shape the iconic New Forest landscape we know today. Sadly around 70 are killed by cars each year.

Please do watch the video below - the Head Agister has some useful tips for all drivers in the New Forest.

Please spread the word by sharing this video with everyone you know - just click on the buttons below. Thank you :-)

New Forest Ponies: Architects of the Forest by Dionis Macnair
Soon after the last ice age, the ponies arrived and they and the New Forest have developed together. Not only do they preserve the Forest, but they also make tremendous riding ponies - talented at jumping, racing, dressage and gymkhana events; they are canny, willing and have terrific temperaments. Dionis Macnair has been involved with them for over 60 years, and as a breeder is well placed to describe their characters and chronicle their development. She colourfully recounts exploits of memorable pony characters and such events as the annual "Point to Point". Read more...

Friday, 24 April 2015

Video: Discovering the New Forest National Park Hampshire UK

The New Forest in Hampshire southern England is a unique landscape shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free.

The New Forest National Park Authority works with others to protect this special place and to increase people's understanding and enjoyment of this world capital for wildlife. Find out more:

Did you enjoy the video? Then please do share with everyone you know by clicking on the buttons below. Please do leave a comment as well. Thank you :-)

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...

Thursday, 23 April 2015

New Forest Walks | Burley | Keyhaven | Brockenhurst | Brook | Minstead

New Forest Walks Leaflets being read by two keen walkers
Walkers Jack and Jenny Cummings, from Fordingbridge,
with some of the 12 new walking leaflets
produced by the New Forest National Park Authority.
Witchcraft, wartime and the mysterious death of an English king are just some of the fascinating topics covered in a new set of New Forest walking routes.

The leaflets provide walkers with more than just route information, with the pack of 12 routes crammed full of historical titbits and lesser-known facts to enrich any stroll in the Forest.

The set of routes has been produced by the New Forest National Park Authority to mark its 10th anniversary, and help those who are less familiar with the area to find easily accessible routes and learn more about the Forest’s past.

Walking routes range from two to seven miles in length, and feature locations including:

  • Burley village
  • Keyhaven Marshes
  • Brockenhurst during World War I
  • Brook to Minstead.

The set of leaflets was launched by Fordingbridge Walking for Health group; a biweekly group helping local people lead a more active lifestyle.

Jim Mitchell, New Forest National Park Authority Interpretation Officer, said: ‘With clear Ordnance Survey mapping, fascinating local facts and stories, and plenty of colour photos, this set of walks is the best way to explore some of the area’s hidden gems.

‘Unlike many other walking guides, these leaflets don’t just tell you the route to take; they give you fascinating details and historical tales at every turn. We hope that these guides will allow even more people to learn about the New Forest’s incredible past, while enjoying a relaxing stroll in the National Park.’

The set of 12 water resistant leaflets is available to buy from Lymington Town Hall for £8, with individual walks only £1. The walks will also be available to buy this summer at visitor information centres, the New Forest Travel Concierge at Brockenhurst railway station, and at local information points across the National Park.
  • New walking leaflets launched to mark the 10th anniversary of the New Forest National Park
  • Each leaflet is bursting with historical and environmental facts and stories related to the walk
  • Set of 12 walking routes to go on sale throughout the New Forest.
You can find the routes online at

To find your nearest Walking for Health group visit

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Thursday, 9 April 2015

Live Goshawk webcam 2015 - live from the nests in New Forest

Live webcam of Goshawk nesting in the New Forest
A female goshawk in the New Forest.
For the next five months, visitors will get a privileged peek into the lives of some of the New Forest’s most impressive birdlife, thanks to high tech video technology.

  • A date with nature uses webcams to stream live footage from the nests of birds of prey in the New Forest
  • The project runs from 28 March to 6 September, and features buzzards, goshawk and hobbies as they raise their young
  • Wild Wednesday events run weekly during the school holidays, with fun activities for the whole family.
  • Watch live online at or

A date with nature in the New Forest uses ‘raptorcam’ technology to allow viewers to follow the lives of birds of prey in their nests as they breed, hatch eggs, feed chicks and teach their young how to fly.

The project is based at the New Forest Reptile Centre, two miles south west of Lyndhurst off the A35, and is run by the RSPB, New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and Carnyx Wild. Last year saw around 20,000 people visit the centre to watch the drama unfold, and online coverage also proved popular.

This year, visitors will be able to share the highs and lows of the breeding season with pairs of buzzards and goshawks until June, and then see footage of a hobby nest through the summer. As well as being streamed online, the footage will also be on view daily between 10am and 4.30pm at the Reptile Centre, where staff and volunteers will be on hand to explain more about the birds’ behaviour.

Cameras have already been positioned high up in the tree canopy ready to capture footage of the buzzards and goshawks as they guard their eggs, with the chicks likely to appear in May.

Michael Lake, project officer for the RSPB, said: ‘It's fantastic that a new date with nature season is upon us again. Every year we are able to show visitors the journey of the amazing birds of prey of the New Forest; from egg to first flight. This year we are feeling very fortunate to be able to show visitors a different bird from previous seasons and show them the family life of a buzzard. People are used to seeing these magnificent birds soaring high in our skies; but we will show their life from a whole new angle.’

Lead ranger at the New Forest National Park Authority, Gillie Molland, said: ‘It is great to see a date with nature continuing to go from strength to strength It is an excellent opportunity for us to give visitors of all ages a unique insight into the lives of the Forest’s birds of prey.

‘As well as seeing into the nests of these impressive raptors, visitors can also discover how important the New Forest is for ground nesting birds, with an exhibition of  sculpted models of the birds in their natural habitats. Wednesdays in the school holidays are particularly good for younger visitors, as we run our Wild Wednesdays events, where there will be fun activities and extra trails to help all the family learn more about the National Park’s special qualities.’

Wild Wednesday events run every Wednesday during the Easter and summer half terms and the summer school holidays, with fun activities for the whole family. This year the dates are 8, 15 April, 27 May, 29 July and 5, 12, 19 and 26 August.

A date with nature also features live footage from a ‘feeder cam’, which will capture activity around bird feeders near the centre. A camera has also been set up in one of the nest boxes intended for smaller woodland birds, and the project staff are eagerly waiting to see which species will nest in there.

A date with nature in the New Forest runs daily from 28 March to 6 September, 10am to 4.30pm. Entry to the Reptile Centre is free although donations for parking are welcome.

Looking for the Goshawk
The book traces Conor Jameson's travels in search of the Goshawk, a magnificent yet rarely seen (in Britain at least) raptor. Each episode of the narrative arises from personal experience, investigation, and the unearthing of information from research, exploration and conversations.
Download now on Kindle or Mobile Apps.

Please use the Share Buttons below to spread the word about this wonderful experience and why not leave a comment. Many thanks :-)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Families invited to Wild Play Day at the Beach 9th April

Families can enjoy crabbing and seashore scavenging at a free day of activities in the New Forest this Easter.

Children, parents and grandparents are invited to Wild Play Day at the Beach to discover fun ways to explore, play and be creative in the great outdoors.

The free event organised by the New Forest National Park Authority and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust aims to help families enjoy nature instead of being glued to their tablets and televisions.

The play day will run from 10am to 2pm on 9 April at Hurst Spit near Keyhaven. No booking is required, but there are charges for parking at the Hurst Road East car park in Milford-on-Sea.

Helen Robinson, education officer at the National Park Authority, said: ‘The most memorable experiences for families are usually the simplest activities like seashore scavenging or making beach art.

‘So if you’re looking for ideas to keep your children busy, just come along to our wild play day for some great activities.’

Dawn Morgan, from the Wildlife Trust, said: ‘One of our key aims is to engage people of all ages with nature. Spending time outdoors with your children or grandchildren is not only good for health and fitness but also may spark a passion in them for the outdoors and conservation.

‘Playing outdoors does not need to cost a lot, most of the activities on the Wild Play Day are things you can do with your children at any time and can be really be fun for the whole family.’

For details on the Wild Play Day visit

Families can also enjoy similar activities at the Wildlife Trust’s Wild Beach Club at Hurst Spit every Thursday from 4pm to 6pm starting from April 23. For details about the Wild Beach Club call Dawn Morgan on 01489 774413 or email