News from the New Forest Trust
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Participants are responsible for ensuring that they are sufficiently fit and healthy to take part in their challenge.
- 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.
- Children are welcome to take part in the event but should be accompanied and closely supervised by a responsible adult at all times.
- 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.
- 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.
- I confirm that I am aged 16 or over.
- 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.
- See February’s wildlife highlights – New Forest National Park Authority (newforestnpa.gov.uk).
- Download the World Wildlife Fund’s free Seek app to help you identify plants and creatures: Discover nature on your doorstep | WWF
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
Love the Forest awards grant to vital heritage centre
A New Forest centre that inspires visitors to explore and value the National Park has received £2,500 from the Love the Forest scheme.
The Love the Forest scheme is part of the New Forest Trust and secures financial support locally through donations and from the millions of people who visit the Forest each year.
It has awarded a grant to the New Forest Heritage Centre, a museum, gallery and reference library dedicated to sharing the history and traditions of the New Forest.
Located in Lyndhurst, the centre is free to enter and attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year. Its exhibits, collections and education service play a vital role in promoting conservation and educating visitors and residents.
The Heritage Centre also houses the Christopher Tower Reference Library which boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of material about the New Forest open to the public, including sections dedicated to individual towns and villages.
Giles Gould, Manager of the New Forest Heritage Centre, said: ‘Once again we are indebted to Love the Forest for their on-going support. In a year in which everyone has faced on-going challenges, we are delighted to be open, preserving the heritage and telling the story of the New Forest. Without support like this we simply couldn’t do what we do.’
The Love the Forest scheme works with businesses across the New Forest to raise funds for conservation and education projects, as well as providing grants to local organisations.
Businesses in the New Forest provide opportunities for their customers to help look after this precious landscape by adding a donation on a room stay, meal or product. Some businesses donate directly or run fundraising events and the scheme has raised £265,000 for New Forest groups and organisations.
William Ziegler, Chairman of the New Forest Trust, said: ‘Given that one of the Trust’s core aims is to increase the public’s understand of the New Forest, we are pleased to support the Heritage Centre as the educational work they do ties in so closely with this.’
If you are a New Forest business and would like to help protect this special place, please get in touch: https://www.newforesttrust.org.uk/love-the-forest
Alternatively, you can donate to Love the Forest online: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1008157
Dedicated volunteer wins New Forest Trust’s Diamond Jubilee award
The New Forest Trust has announced the winner of its Diamond Jubilee award.
The charity chose Jenni Tubbs due to her significant contribution to conserving the special qualities of the New Forest. Her dedication has shone though in various volunteer roles spanning a number of years.
Jenni is an active supporter of the New Forest Association (NFA) as a member of its council and Habitats and Landscape Committee, and as its representative on Forestry England’s Open Forest Advisory Committee.
She also represents New Forest Friends of the Earth on the New Forest Consultative Panel, and is a member of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s Conservation & Science Committee.
William Ziegler, Chairman of the New Forest Trust, said: ‘Jenni is a worthy winner, giving her time with energy and determination. I have personally known Jenni for more than 20 years and am so pleased she was chosen by the panel to receive the award this year. She has been a true unsung hero and defender of the Forest for so many years.’
Jenni was presented the award at the New Forest Heritage Centre by Mary Montagu, Director and Vice Chairman of Beaulieu Enterprises.
The award, first given in 2012 by Her Majesty the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee, is given to individuals who, “without expectation of recognition or reward, have given freely of their own time and made a significant contribution towards maintaining and improving the environment and rural economy of the New Forest”.