Author Archives: New Forest Trust

Bring your conservation, commoning or education project to life with funding from Love the Forest

The Love the Forest scheme is inviting people to apply for grants of up to £5,000 for projects which help secure the future of the New Forest.

The Love the Forest scheme has recently funded a wide range of initiatives including providing litter picking kits for National Park ambassadors; enabling hundreds of volunteers to help with conservation tasks; printing the New Forest Code showing how people can help care for the Forest; and supporting the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust in removing non-native plants from choking our rivers and streams.

Businesses across the National Park generously help raise the funds from their customers by adding a small donation to restaurant bills, accommodation, products and services.

William Ziegler, Chairman of the New Forest Trust registered charity, which runs the Love the Forest scheme, said: ‘The New Forest is one of the best places for wildlife in Europe with many rare species, all underpinned by the ancient tradition of commoning – with the grazing animals helping to shape the landscape.

‘Now we’re asking for schools, businesses and organisations to come forward with more innovative projects to help look after this internationally-important area.

‘We would also like to thank our partner businesses and their customers who have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years to ensure the spectacular New Forest is protected for future generations.’

Grants of £50 to £5,000 are available and projects must meet one or more of the New Forest Trust charitable objectives:

  • Promoting the conservation, protection and improvement of the New Forest
  • Promoting the conservation and protection of the commoning livestock, the deer and other flora and fauna of the New Forest
  • Promoting the education and understanding of the public in the commoning of livestock, of fauna and flora and the environment of the New Forest.

Find out more about how to apply here.

Volunteers clearing scrub at Lepe

Love the Forest scoops new fundraising drive with New Forest Ice Cream

Love the Forest’s new fundraising drive has all the ingredients for success thanks to support from New Forest Ice Cream.

The Lymington-based family business on the edge of the New Forest National Park is giving a percentage of all scoop tub sales of its vegan salted caramel flavour to the Love the Forest scheme.

Love the Forest is part of the New Forest Trust charity, which secures the future of the New Forest through conservation and education projects as well as supporting the ancient tradition of commoning where animals roam free across the landscape.

Free from dairy, gluten and egg, the vegan alternative ice cream offers a rich, sweet taste of caramel enhanced by a pinch of salt. It can be found in many New Forest pubs and restaurants and also at scoop outlets in villages across the Forest and seaside.

New Forest Ice Cream Director Niki Jenman said: ‘We started supporting Love The Forest on our 30th Anniversary nine years ago as we wanted to help protect this precious landscape. Whilst family is at the heart of our business, our location is its soul. We are firmly rooted in the New Forest and the generous bounty of this unique location is evident in the quality and flavours of our ice cream. As a result, we have introduced numerous initiatives to help reduce our carbon footprint and to become even more environmentally friendly as well as giving back through Love the Forest fundraising, to ensure that this special location retains its beauty for many more generations to enjoy.

‘Other than vanilla, salted caramel is the top selling flavour across our scoop range so we hope it should really drive donations for the charity. Being vegan, this plant-based product seemed a good fit with Love the Forest’s nature conservation aims.’

Recent Love the Forest projects include supporting the 600 National Park volunteers who help with conservation, wildlife and heritage tasks; promoting the New Forest Code so visitors can help care for the Forest; and helping Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to remove invading non-native plants from rivers and streams.

William Ziegler, Chairman of the New Forest Trust charity, which is behind the Love the Forest scheme said: ‘We are extremely grateful for New Forest Ice Cream’s continued support raising thousands of pounds for vital projects and this new vegan flavour has all the ingredients for success.

‘We hope all New Forest residents and visitors will enjoy this tasty way to show they Love the Forest!’

People can also donate online at:

If your business could support the Love the Forest scheme, please get in touch at

New Forest Ice Cream supports Love the Forest

Give now and help New Forest wildlife thrive

Vital funds are needed to help a successful New Forest conservation volunteer scheme continue – and this week any public donations will be doubled.

The New Forest Trust has teamed up with the National Park Authority (NPA) to launch an appeal to get its 600 volunteers back outside to help care for the New Forest after the pandemic and to increase their numbers by a further 400 people.

The volunteers have undertaken critical work including conserving woodlands, creating hedgerows, planting trees and carrying out surveys but the Lottery funding to pay for coordination, training and equipment has come to an end.

Now the Trust has entered into the Big Give’s Green Match Fund to raise £2,500 in one week and the money will be doubled to £5,000 by the Fund to support volunteering work.

Members of the public are asked to donate whatever they can on the New Forest Trust’s Big Give page from midday this Thursday (22 April) which is Earth Day:

William Ziegler, Chairman of the New Forest Trust (registered charity number 1099420), said: ‘The New Forest is a unique environment which contains numerous rare species and the work of the volunteers is vital in trying to ensure their continued existence in the face of ever-increasing pressures.

‘We’re calling on all our residents and businesses to please each give a little this week so we can double their money and provide a much-needed boost to the volunteering programme, which is in danger of grinding to a halt.’

Richard Austin, Volunteer, Training and Mentoring Coordinator at the NPA, said as well as supporting the New Forest and its communities, volunteering provides huge health and wellbeing benefits.

He said: ‘Our volunteers tell us that volunteering is life-changing and improves not only their physical health but their wellbeing too. So we are desperately keen to get our volunteers back out in the Forest not only to help nature recover but also help people recover from the pandemic when it’s safe to do so.

‘Volunteering gives people the chance to see parts of the New Forest that they haven’t before, all while making new friends, discovering new skills, learning about this historic landscape and becoming custodians of it.

‘Please give whatever you can to help us get the programme up and running again.’

Jo Shorrocks has been volunteering on wildlife conservation projects for the NPA since 2016. Jo said: ‘There are so many benefits to volunteering. You’ve got the fresh air, you’ve got the exercise, you’ve got the company, but it is the education side that is a benefit for me in particular.

‘The people that run these tasks are experts in their field and they are very happy to pass on their knowledge. It helps you to appreciate and understand what’s around you a lot more. I do feel it’s effectively a form of mindfulness that you don’t necessarily know you’re doing, but you are.’

To qualify for match funding, donations must be given between midday on Thursday 22 April and midday on Thursday 29 April through the New Forest Trust’s Big Give fundraising page:

BBC Radio Solent Interview at Balmer Lawn Hotel


zoonoseZoonoses are diseases that can pass between animals and people. They’re relatively rare in this country. Rabies is probably the best known. Other examples include salmonella, ringworm, e-coli, Weil’s disease, orf, and Lyme’s disease.

Lyme’s disease is the most common zoonose in the UK, according to government figures, but still rare- about a thousand cases being reported each year. It’s passed on by tick bites, and ticks are common in the New Forest. If you get bitten by a tick, you should keep an eye on the area of skin around the bite, as one of the most common signs of infection is a pink or red circular rash that develops around the bite some days afterwards. The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board.

The Health Protection Agency monitors reports of zoonoses, and produces annual reports about the numbers of cases.