Great success for family scheme focused on rare wildlife in the New Forest

Great success for family scheme focused on rare wildlife in the New Forest

Published at 10:15am 3rd May 2019. (Updated at 10:27am 3rd May 2019)

3 minute read

The National Trust's Easter family event at its Foxbury site attracted hundreds of visitors, raising awareness for conservation in the New Forest.

The National Trust's Easter family event at its Foxbury site, at East Wellow between Salisbury and Ower, attracted over 600 visitors this year. That was of course helped along by the glorious sunny weather.

The event had focused on delivering the message to visitors about rare wildlife in the New Forest, particularly on ground nesting birds, such as nightjars.

Community Ranger Jennifer Sutton told Spire FM News:

"Families loved our interactive nature themed trail, which introduced them to Foxbury's heathland wildlife, and how we look after it, particularly during the all-important ground nesting bird season, which we're in the middle of right now."

"We had some wonderful interactive activities for them to enjoy, including our 'have a go' forestry machinery experience, seed bomb-making with our Foxbury Forest School leaders, and lots of chances to chat with rangers from the New Forest National Park Authority, who championed the message of heathland bird conservation before visitors finished their Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt trail."


National Trust staff and volunteers also provided opportunities for children to go bug hunting, watch charcoal burning and have a go at weaving in the woodland crafts area.

The Easter base camp at Foxbury
The Easter basecamp at Foxbury

Kids helped toast marshmallows, made mud pies in the basecamp's mud kitchen and tested their camouflage skills in the craft cabin.


  • The New Forest has 20% of the world's heathland and is an important breeding ground for some rare species
  • Remember to be aware of ground nesting birds between March and July
  • Keep yourselves and your dogs to main tracks/paths, if necessary use a lead

Community Ranger Jennifer Sutton explains more:

"The aim of the Easter event at Foxbury was to give our visitors an update on the Trust's continuing work to restore rare lowland heathland here, 80% of which has disappeared worldwide since 1800. The New Forest has 20% of the world's heathland. We also wanted to remind everyone who loves walking in the forest to take extra care at this time of year. By simply keeping to paths and keeping dogs on leads internationally protected ground nesting birds such as woodlarks and curlews stand a chance of breeding successfully."

Join the National Trust rangers to see a ground nesting bird for yourself! Dates for the Nightjar walks are now live, click here to find out more.

To book onto the event call 01794 344020, all proceeds go towards charitable conservation efforts.

For more information contact the New Forest ranger team:
Phone: 01425 650035


The National Trust is one of the most important nature conservation organisations in Europe with over 1,000 sites covering 250,000 hectares, including coastal sites, woodland and upland areas; many of which are rich in wildlife. In Hampshire alone, the National Trust looks after 3,967 hectares of land and 1,970 hectares of countryside.

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