Staying safe and reducing impact
The New Forest National Park is a unique and fragile environment, which is also home to many people. You can considerably reduce your group’s impact on the environment and help to conserve it for the future.
- Choose a site which minimises the travelling distance within the Forest
- Consider green transport options
- Work in small groups to avoid blocking narrow pavements in Forest villages or footpaths on the open forest.
- Ensure students (if carrying out questionnaires) are aware that residents may have been surveyed many times before
- Check with the Forestry Commission Permissions Officer to avoid possible damage caused by simultaneous use of a site by several groups
- Stick to the main paths on heathland during ground nesting bird season
- Do not approach, touch or feed New Forest ponies, they are untamed and prefer to eat wild foods.
- Take your litter home with you.
There are risks associated with almost anything, including taking groups into the outdoor environment. However, these risks are often minimal and can be reduced even further through careful planning in advance and management during the visit. If your visit is being led by an education provider they will be able to provide full risk assessment and details of any national governing body qualifications required.
The National Park Education Service recommends conducting a pre visit and carries out full risk assessments for each of the sites that we use. We are happy to advise on suitable locations for your group to visit and to share some of generic risk assessments to assist with your own. Below are some fo the main local risks to consider.