Heart of the Forest - New Forest Show

The Heart of the Forest is  a hive of industry where visitors can learn about the people who work behind the scenes to make the New Forest thrive.

Various organisations such as the New Forest Agisters, the New Forest National Park Authority and many more will educate visitors on the vast history of the New Forest and the way it is today.

At the heart of the area you can find the New Forest Commoners Defence Association and have a wooden plaque traditionally branded with the name of your house, horse or any name you wish.

Nature Play is a brand new area dedicated to children’s education, suppored by Forestry England, New Forest National Park Authority and Shared Forest. The following activities will be taking place all day every day:

  • Den Building
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Clay Creatures
  • Wonderful weaving
  • Bark Rubbing
  • Tea for Tools
  • Lok Up – life in an Oak tree
  • Bug Hunting
  • Charcoal Art

Below is a list of the organisations you will find the Heart of the Forest Area:

Pondhead Conservation Trust

Entirely run by volunteers, Pondhead Conservation Trust was established with the objective of bringing a coppiced woodland back into rotation. The trust also practices traditional crafts and makes charcoal.

At the New Forest Show, the trust will be doing chair making, charcoal drawing, wand making and spoon making demonstrations.

Visitors can visit the Pondhead Conservation Trust to learn how charcoal is made

During the day running the stall we will be explaining what we do and showing how charcoal is made.

Pondhead will be demonstrating 3 different activities throughout each day of the Show:

1. Charcoal drawing with Pondhead charcoal
2. Spoon making with information about courses we are starting to run
3. Wand and chair making

Mike Read

Mike Read is a wilflife and landscape photographer campaigning for more wildlife conservation in the New Forest and reducing the pressure on the National Park.

In the past Mike has undertaken the photography of many wetland restoration projects for the Forestry Commission and New Forest National Park Authority.

At the Show Mike will be create a display concerning conservation in the New Forest.

Aimée & Pete Durnell (Artists)

Aiméé and Peter Durnell create artwork of the New Forest which has taken the form of local books, linocuts, watercolours, monoprints, screenprints, etchings and they also run workshops and local courses.

Friends of the Forest (New Forest Association)

Friends of the Forest campaign to protect, restore and stand up for the New Forest. For over 150 years, we have been dedicated to ensuring the long-term protection of the special qualities of the Forest, including its flora, fauna and cultural heritage; by being a friend, a watchdog and independent voice for the New Forest.

The Friends of the Forest is one of the world’s oldest conservation organisations.

The New Forest Ninth Centenary Trust

The New Forest Ninth Centenary Trust claims to further conserve and protect the New Forest for the benefit of the public, by educating, informing and illustrating the history of the forest and its environment.

New Forest Carriage Driving for the Disabled

The New Forest Carriage Driving for the Disabled provides adult disabled people with the opportunity to carriage drive in order to benefit their health and well being, operating within the New Forest National Park and surrounding areas.

Visitors the New Forest Show will have the opportunity to view the rein holding equipment used to enabled disabled people to take part in carriage driving.

The New Forest Dog Owners Group

The New Forest Dog Owners group promotes responsible dog ownership on the forest, off the lead. It is the largest user group in the Forest, promoting responsible dog walking in the Forest.

New Forest Pony Enthusiasts Club

Riding Club affiliated to the British Horse Society, part of Area 17 which covers Hampshire, Dorset & the Isle of Wight. The club is unique in accepting only members that ride and own registered New Forest ponies. We are based in the New Forest, with on average 150 members, both adult and juniors. Our members participate in a wide range of events both in the New Forest and further afield.