News from the 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: https://www.justgiving.com/newforesttrust.

If your business could support the Love the Forest scheme, please get in touch at admin@lovetheforest.org.uk.

New Forest Ice Cream supports Love the Forest

Major boost to volunteering in the New Forest National Park

Volunteers are back out conserving the New Forest, boosted by public donations and a grant of more than £8,000 from the New Forest Trust.

The Trust teamed up with the New Forest National Park Authority to launch an appeal to get volunteers back outside to help care for the New Forest after the pandemic and to increase their numbers.

Volunteers do critical work in the New Forest National Park, including conserving woodlands, creating hedgerows, planting trees and carrying out surveys, and the grant will help pay for coordination, training and equipment.

The Trust entered the Big Give’s Green Match Fund, appealing to members of the public for donations and the chance to have their donation doubled.

Almost 180 donations were made and £8,743 was raised, smashing the target of £5,000 to support vital volunteering work.

William Ziegler, Chairman of the New Forest Trust, thanked everyone who donated and said: ‘We were enormously pleased by the response of the public to this appeal, which will help the work of the volunteers, who are helping  many projects of both long and short importance to the New Forest, continue.’

The New Forest Trust was founded in 2003 with one simple aim, to secure the future of the New Forest.

It secures financial support locally through donations and from the millions of people who visit the New Forest every year through the Love the Forest visitor giving scheme.

The money raised is used to fund projects that meet the Trust’s charitable aims, with some projects being delivered directly and others by local organisations through the Love the Forest scheme.

Visit the New Forest Trust’s website for more information on how you can help care for the New Forest: www.newforesttrust.org.uk/

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: https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/a056900001opaJlAAI

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: https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/a056900001opaJlAAI.

Join the Love the Forest Valentines Challenge

Love the Forest is calling on walkers, joggers and runners to join its Valentines Challenge to help fund vital conservation, commoning and education projects in the New Forest.

The scheme set up by the New Forest Trust charity is calling on people to make their local lockdown miles count and get sponsored to walk, jog or run a distance when out on their daily exercise from home.

Love the Forest usually raises tens of thousands of pounds each year from personal donations and with tourism businesses adding a pound to visitor’s bills, but sadly most of the businesses have been closed for a lot of 2020 due to the pandemic and donations have plummeted.

Over the years the scheme has helped rare bats, birds and snakes survive, educated thousands of youngsters about the New Forest and funded vital projects to reduce animal accidents on Forest roads.

The New Forest ponies and cattle are known as ‘the architects of the Forest’, roaming freely across the landscape. Owned by people called commoners, it’s the animals’ grazing which creates the amazing range of habitats which make the National Park a world capital for wildlife.

Sadly 49 animals were killed on the roads in 2020 with nine killed in a particularly harrowing week after Christmas. Although 2020 saw the lowest number of accidents since records began, any animal death is a great loss to its owner and the Forest.

New Forest Trust Chairman William Ziegler said: ‘We’re asking people to join in our virtual challenge and help fund measures to help the New Forest survive into the future.

‘We suggest people choose from a distance of three, five or 10 miles and complete their challenge from home any time from Valentines’ Day to the end of February. You can take part anywhere – you don’t have to be in the New Forest!

‘Of course, while completing the Challenge we will all need to follow the latest Government restrictions about travel and contact with other people to keep everyone safe. We hope as many people as possible will get involved to help care for the New Forest landscape and animals.’

Anyone who would like to take part but not seek sponsorship, or would like to support the event, is encouraged to make a suggested donation of £20 instead.

William added: ‘We would like to thank all our fantastic businesses who have been supporting the Love the Forest scheme over the years and it’s extremely sad to see how difficult a time they are having but we hope they’ll be open again soon and we can return the favour and support them too.’

This is a virtual event and you must follow the latest Government restrictions about travel and contact with other people to keep everyone safe.* See the latest advice here.

Your challenge:

Make your lockdown local exercise miles count and join our Love the Forest Valentines Challenge to help care for the New Forest ponies and wildlife.

Walk, jog or run a distance and route of your choosing and ask friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you.

Date:
Start your walk/jog/run on Valentine’s Day – Sunday 14 February and complete your challenge over the next two weeks (ending Sunday 28 February).

Choose your distance:
It’s up to you how far you walk and how long you want to take to complete your challenge, but you can choose from our suggestions:

  • 3 miles
  • 5 miles
  • 10 miles

Stay safe:

  • Please follow the latest government restrictions  due to Covid-19.
  • If you’re walking alone, tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.
  • Take a drink, snack and a fully charged mobile phone with you. You should take a map too as you can’t always rely on a phone signal.

I’m signing up!
Set up a Love the Forest VirginGiving page or a Love the Forest Facebook fundraiser page and ask your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you.

By setting up a Love the Forest fundraising page on Virgin Giving or Facebook, you are confirming you have read and accepted the following Terms and Conditions:

By completing the registration form for the Love the Forest Valentines Challenge you agree to the following Terms and Conditions:

  1. Entrants take part in the Love the Forest Valentines Challenge do so entirely at their own risk and are 100% responsible for selecting a safe route. The New Forest Trust accepts no responsibility for any accidents, injuries or losses sustained whilst taking part in the Love the Forest Valentines Challenge.
  2. Entrants must agree to adhere to the latest government guidelines for Covid-19 and walk only with your household or support bubble as part of your local daily exercise.
  3. Participants are responsible for ensuring that they are sufficiently fit and healthy to take part in their challenge.
  4. Participants are responsible for ensuring that they are wearing appropriate attire when taking part in the challenge, taking into account the nature of the challenge, the weather forecast and the terrain involved.
  5. Children are welcome to take part in the event but should be accompanied and closely supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
  6. You agree that all funds raised shall be paid to the New Forest Trust as quickly as possible after your event and in any case by no later than eight weeks after the event end date (28 February 2021). All payments to the New Forest Trust shall be made via debit or credit card, cheque, bank transfer or via a secure online fundraising page.
  7. You agree that should you, for whatever reason, not take part in the challenge, it is your responsibility to contact your sponsors telling them you are no longer participating in the event, and what will happen to their sponsor money.
  8. I confirm that I am aged 16 or over.
  9. All participants enter the challenge entirely at their own risk. We shall not be liable for any death, personal injury, damage or loss to participants or their property that might occur as a result of their participation.

Share your support online:

  • Get someone to take a photo of you (or set your camera timer) while making a heart with your hands and post it on social media
  • Tag @lovetheforest
  • Use the hashtag #lovetheforest in your post and it will appear on our website and social media with everyone else taking part.

What can you spot?

Keep an eye out for local wildlife when you’re on your Love the Forest Valentines Challenge.

Not able to take part this time?

Please consider making a donation to the Love the Forest scheme to enable us to continue our important work to care for the New Forest National Park.

Keep up to date

Sign up for our email newsletter for all the latest news about the Valentines Challenge and Love the Forest scheme.

To start fundraising or donate online, visit: Virgin Money Giving | New Forest Trust