New Education Project to launch in Summer 2021 at New Park Farm
The New Forest Agricultural Show Society is thrilled to announce the launch of an exciting new project that will connect people with nature. Launching this year, the venture will turn New Park into an education hub where visitors will learn about the importance of The New Forest and why nature plays a key part in the National Park.
The project will be aimed at both visitors and local residents with the intention to turn New Park Farm into a location that connects people with nature whilst teaching them to understand, respect and enjoy the special qualities of The New Forest National Park.
The project supports the Society’s charitable remit:
The New Forest Agricultural Show Society is a charity whose objectives are to promote and encourage agriculture, forestry, rural crafts, equestrianism and horticulture in particular to advance education in agriculture and allied industries, in forestry, in equestrianism and in horticulture and to promote the breeding of stock.
Led by a steering group that includes members from The New Forest National Park, Forestry England, New Forest District Council, Hampshire County Council and other New Forest educators the project will ensure visitors leave New Park Farm with a better understanding of the New Forest and the importance livestock play in the wider landscape.
Denis Dooley, Chief Executive commented “This is a hugely exciting moment for the Society that will benefit The New Forest and further enhance our charitable activities. The New Forest
is an amazing place and we hope this project will allow visitors the opportunity to understand the importance of the working forest, unique nature of the area and why we must look after the landscape. Without the New Forest & Hampshire County Show this year we were keen to not only maintain our education platform but develop it to benefit the whole of The New Forest.”
The education project will utilise the 230 estate at New Park Farm to create a variety of physical opportunities to engage visitors with the outdoors. The projects will be led by a steering group which includes New Forest National Park, Forestry England, NFDC and Hampshire County Council and will be run by an Education Officer who will be recruited imminently .
Details of the projects include:
A community space for people to meet, connect and be creative in a welcoming environment. The shed will provide tools and resources for visitors to use during bookable sessions. The area aims to promote health, mindfulness and wellbeing through education and practical activities for adults.
Three accessible nature trails will be created around the New Park Farm. All varying in length, the trails will provide educational, interactive walks around the site. The trials will be supported by videos to allow visitors the opportunity to learn about their surroundings, allow them to connect with nature and understand more on the management of the National Park.
Woodland: Forest School and Bushcraft area
Courses run by both the education officer and outside tutors; visitors will have an opportunity to book throughout the day. These will include “Understanding The New Forest Code”, “Pond Dipping”, “Bush craft” and many more. The area will be developed alongside the National Park Authority and Forestry England to ensure it benefits the New Forest as a whole.
Exclusive New Forest Courses
These one-day courses will focus on the importance of the New Forest, why it is a working forest and what commoning brings to the area. It is hoped those who complete the course will have a better understanding of the area and in turn respect the New Forest.
Annual Agricultural Weekend
Open to schools and the general public the annual agricultural weekend will provide families with an opportunity to connect directly with local farmers, educational organisations and businesses. Held at New Park Farm, the event will enable families to participate in a variety of interactive and educational activities and connect them with nature.
Aaron Lawford, Vice Chairman of the New Forest Agricultural Show Society says ‘’ The New Forest Agricultural Show Society is made up and supported by an army of deeply passionate stakeholders and volunteers that are leaders in their specific fields of experience, and for those that have previously visited the New Forest & Hampshire County Show in the past, for three days of the year that will have shone through. This project will enable us build upon and to share that experience, knowledge and passion for Hampshire and the New Forest with everyone that lives or visits the New Forest all year round using specially dedicated areas at New Park Farm in Brockenhurst.
This is truly an exciting project that through education will directly connect people with nature whilst providing understanding and respect for the New Forest. I am looking forward to the launch of the community shed at New Park Farm that seeks to address wellbeing through social interaction on voluntary projects at the site”.
For more information about the education project please visit www.newparkfarm.org.