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New Forest Connects

New Forest Connects

Lead Partner

New Forest National Park Authority

What is it about?

New Forest Connects has been informed by the Audience Development Plan and Interpretation Framework, which has identified key audiences for the Scheme to engage with, key approaches and themes. This has resulted in a comprehensive co-ordinated programme of events, activities and other interpretation to inspire people.

It will include the following:

  • Connecting People and Place – training people in heritage interpretation and communication
  • New Forest Exhibitions – temporary and touring exhibitions at the New Forest Centre and elsewhere on specific themes
  • New Forest guided experiences – these form part of a programme of face to face interpretation events including behind the scenes tours, and self-guided activities (for example, via family activity packs)
  • Connecting to Lost Landscapes – focussing an event or interpretation on one site each year to highlight the reasons for work being undertaken
  • Walking With a Purpose – developing the New Forest walking festival with new guided walks around the main interpretation themes and self-guided walks that also link to the Historic Routes and Pathways project
  • Common Threads – reinterpreting the landscape and heritage of the Forest through sharing skills and experience in embroidery
  • Senses of Place – encourage people to be inspired by and to enjoy and learn about the New Forest through interpretation at two key sites in the Forest, with a focus on hands on and sensory activity.

The project will:

  • Improve understanding of the story of the landscape and create greater enjoyment of the Forest
  • Improve interpretation and communication skills
  • Create potential for new audiences and disengaged groups to become more involved in Forest life
  • Lead to family and group learning and sharing in the Forest’s heritage with touring exhibitions, family learning resources and ‘behind the scenes’ events
  • Keep up to date with work undertaken on sites by land managers through blog entries, films and events
  • Enable volunteer opportunities for walking guides
  • Produce guided walks led by rangers, volunteers and partner organisations
  • Form community groups formed for textile work, producing a sense of well-being and connectedness, whilst educating about the New Forest fauna, flora and history. By forming community groups, individuals will feel less isolated and it will generate intergenerational respect and connection. This will include workshops at the New Forest Centre to create a textile piece representing the heritage of the Forest
  • Install interpretation at Bolderwood and Blackwater, including panels, an interactive map table, siting boards, downloadable resources, seasonal changeable interpretation and trail headers
  • Produce a Trail Header at Knightwood Oak
  • Engage new audiences and disengaged groups by removing barriers from sites that prevent them visiting and learning about the heritage of the Forest.
Volunteering and training

Volunteers will get involved in community heritage interpretation and will be active in helping run events, guided activities and walks.

Connecting People and Place is a programme that will train people in heritage interpretation skills over the course of the Scheme. Training will include how to effectively tell the story of the Forest to increase understanding of what makes it special and how to help protect it.

Visit the training and volunteering pages for information on specific roles within the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.


People in the Forest will be trained in heritage interpretation and volunteer guides will lead walks. Communities will be more connected and less isolated by working on heritage projects together and more people will understand and participate in New Forest heritage.

Contact details

Jim Mitchell – Interpretation Officer, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646681 email:

Land Advice Service Manager


'We help commoners to continue their ancient way by providing grants, training and advice.'

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