New Forest
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New Forest
Explorers Guide
Whats on composite image
Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park

New Forest What's On
May 2019

The New Forest National Park covers a relatively small geographical area, yet residents and visitors have access to an extensive New Forest Whats On programme that features a wide range of events and activities.

Find out about Whats On in the New Forest with the guide below.

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What's On - the May events programme
(single day events first, followed by longer running events)

Friday, 3rd May
  • Lymington Baptist Church, opposite the St Barbe Museum, New Street, Coastal Erosion with Prof Vincent May, doors open at 7.00pm, the talk starts at 7.30pm and lasts for around 1 hour. This is a Friends of St Barbe event, entrance is free for Friends and £5 for others.
Saturday, 4th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Craft, Gift and Produce Fair, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Sunday, 5th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Foresta Artisan Fair, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Wednesday, 8th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, RSPB Group meeting, 7.30pm.
Thursday, 9th May
  • Acres Down, Woodland Wander, 10.00am to 3.00pm. Forestry Commission event. A lovely walk through woodland and over heathland with insights into commoning and local history, followed by an optional stop to a tea rooms, in the heart of the New Forest. £6 per person, 11 years+, 6 miles, dogs welcome on a lead. Buy tickets via the Forestry Commission website or call 0300 068 0400 for enquiries.
Friday, 10th May
  • Brockenhurst Village Hall, Film night, Bohemian Rhapsody (12A), 7.00pm - 10.30pm.
    The Cinema is in the Forest Hall. The doors open at 7.00pm and the evening programme begins at 7.30pm. After a short film or two and a trailer for the next film, there is an interval when you can chat with friends while enjoying a glass of wine, ice creams, coffee, tea, cake etc. before settling down to watch the main film.

    This is a foot stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek). The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success but, in an unexpected turn, Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. But he does manage to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Winner of four Oscars, including Rami Malek's Best Actor in a Leading Role.

    Buy your tickets online via the Village Hall website, from the Village Hall office (Monday - Friday 9.00am - 1.00pm), or from Pot Pouri. Tickets are also available on the door for £6.50.
Saturday, 11th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Book Fair, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Sunday, 12th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Lady Cynthia's Fleamarket, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Monday, 13th May
  • Burley Village Hall, Film night, 7.30pm.
Wednesday, 15th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, New Forest Art Society, 7.30pm. Lynne Davies, award winning professional artist, will be demonstrating a landscape painting in acrylic. Members' mini exhibition theme - landscape. Non-members welcome.
Sunday, 19th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Teddy Bear Fair, 10.30am - 4.00pm.
Wednesday, 22nd May
  • New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst, A Forester's Career - an evening with Harry Oram, 7.00pm - 9.30pm. Harry Oram joined the Forestry Commission in 1965 and during a career of 46 years had posts in the Scottish Borders, Cheshire, Snowdonia, Norfolk and from 1988 in the New Forest. Harry will look back at his career and, with help from the collections at the New Forest Heritage Centre, will recall how some of the forestry tools were used.
    Tickets - £6.00 (£4.00 Friends) - to book, visit the Heritage Centre website, phone 02380 286151 or call into the Heritage Centre shop.
Friday, 24th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Film Night - Mary Poppins Returns, 7.00pm for 7.30pm. Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks' siblings and Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.

    Mary Poppins Returns is a 2018 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall, with a screenplay written by David Magee and a story by Magee, Marshall, and John DeLuca the film is a sequel to the 1964 film Mary Poppins, and stars Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep in supporting roles.

    The film is set in 1930s depression-era London. Michael and Jane are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen, living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamp-lighter Jack, uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
Saturday, 25th May
  • Burley Village Hall, Songbirds concert.
Tuesday, 28th May
  • Blackwater Arboretum, Child of the Wild, 10.30am to 12.00noon. Forestry Commission event. Get back to nature with this fun, interactive event. The morning will be full of hands-on activities and a chance to explore with your senses. £5 per child, 3 years+, 1 mile, sorry, dogs not allowed. Buy tickets via the Forestry Commission website or call 0300 068 0400 for enquiries.
Wednesday, 29th May
  • Burbush car park, Burley, The Castleman Corkscrew - A History of the New Forest Railway, 10.00am to 1.00pm. Forestry Commission event. Follow the trackbed of the Castleman Railway to Holmsley via open forest with panoramic views across the landscape, stopping for optional refreshments at a local tea room. Learn about some of the history of this line and the Forest in general. £10 per person, 10 years+, 4.5 miles, dogs welcome on a lead. Buy tickets via the Forestry Commission website or call 0300 068 0400 for enquiries.
  • New Forest Reptile Centre, Wild Wednesday, 10.30am - 3.30pm. Forestry Commission event. Enjoy a date with nature at the New Forest Reptile Centre, with fun activities for the whole family. Quiz trail and making activities for children. See nestcam video from a bird of prey's nest as well as the reptiles and amphibians. Drop in event, no booking required, suitable for all ages, dogs welcome on leads, call 0300 067 4601 for more information.
Thursday, 30th May
  • Tilery Road, Brockenhurst, Wild About Ponies - My Haunt, 1.00pm to 2.00pm. Forestry Commission event. Come and meet a New Forest Ranger and learn about New Forest ponies and other livestock which live in the forest. Come along to a fun, free information session and learn all the answers to your questions about the four-legged icons of the New Forest. Free event, suitable for all, 1 mile, dogs welcome on a lead, no booking required. Call 0300 067 4601 for enquiries.

Longer running events

Saturday 16th March to Sunday, 7th July
  • New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst, Forestry 100 exhibition, 10.00am - 4.30pm. In 1919 the government set up the Forestry Commission to replenish the nation's timber reserves in the wake of WW1. Since then the landscapes it manages have gone through significant change and now face very different challenges.

    This is particularly the case in the New Forest which in 2009 became A Site of Special Scientific Interest, and has become one of the country's most important habitats for many species of wildlife and plants.

    This exhibition looks back at the Forestry Commission's activities in the New Forest and the important role the New Forest plays in our local economy through timber and providing a wonderful place to visit. It also highlights future challenges to ensuring the Forest's conservation and leaving a positive legacy for future generations.
Saturday, 23rd March to Sunday, 2nd June
  • St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, St Barbe Open Exhibition 2019, Monday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
    St Barbe Open Exhibition
    In 2018 the St Barbe Open made a very successful transition to the new gallery spaces and a new online entry method with the largest ever submission and just under 100 works selected. The resulting exhibition was the best yet. Since it was established in 2000 the Open has become one of the highlights of the local arts calendar, attracting artists from Hampshire, Dorset and beyond.

    The 19th Open exhibition will include paintings, prints, drawings and three-dimensional works and is selected by a panel of professional artists and curators. The stiff competition for selection means that the standard gets higher every year, providing a treat for our visitors and a chance to buy high quality affordable art. This is a selling exhibition.

    (2018 also saw the inaugural Young Artist's Open exhibition to encourage budding artists to take part in the Open exhibition. It got off to a flying start with 89 entries, all of which were shown in a vibrant display alongside the main Open exhibition. The St Barbe Young Artist's Open 2019 will, we are sure, be similarly successful).

    Admission with gift aid - Adult £6, Concession £5, Family (up to two adults and up to four children) £12, Child (under 16) £3. Without gift aid - Adult £5.45, Concession £4.55, Family £10.90, Child (under 16) £2.70. Under 5s free. National Art Pass holders free.
Sunday, 7th April to Wednesday, 29th May
  • Exbury Gardens, Four Seasons Art Exhibition, 10.00am - 5.30pm.
    Four Seasons Art Exhibition
    Now in its 14th year at Exbury Gardens, the Four Seasons Art exhibition showcases the work of 11 talented artists from Hampshire and Dorset. The pieces exhibited interpret nature through different artistic methods including painting, drawing, collage, printmaking and wood turning. Books, cards and giclee prints also for sale.

    Located in the Five Arrows Gallery, an atmospheric old brick building adjoining the Herbaceous Garden, the exhibition is free to enter, so long as day admission to the gardens has been purchased or visitors have a Friends of Exbury annual membership.
Tuesday, 30th April to Sunday, 2nd June
  • St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Textile Exhibition, Monday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
    Textile Exhibition
    This exhibition brings together local textile artists working in a variety of different media. From felting to lace-making, weaving, patchwork and collage, we are seeking to highlight the range of work being created by talented local artists. There will be weaving, spinning or lace-making demonstrations most weekends throughout the exhibition. Visit the St. Barbe website nearer the time for more details. The works in this exhibition will be available for sale.

    (Textile by Pippa Crouch).

    Admission with gift aid - Adult £6, Concession £5, Family (up to two adults and up to four children) £12, Child (under 16) £3. Without gift aid - Adult £5.45, Concession £4.55, Family £10.90, Child (under 16) £2.70. Under 5s free. National Art Pass holders free.
Saturday and Sunday, 4th and 5th May
  • Burley Village Hall, Craft Fayre, 10.30am - 5.00pm.
Friday, 24th May to Monday, 27th May
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Centre Art Group Exhibition. Do go along, there is free entry and a sale of artworks. Friday: 2.00pm - 5.00pm, Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am - 5.00pm, Monday: 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Saturday, 25th May to Sunday, 2nd June
  • Discovery Days at Bolderwood, 10.30am - 3.30pm. Take part in seasonal activities at the Forestry Commission's Bolderwood Information Unit. Free of charge event, suitable for all, dogs welcome on leads, no booking required. Call 0300 067 4601 for more information.
Saturday and Sunday, 25th and 26th May
  • Brockenhurst Village Hall, Model Railway Exhibition, 10.00am - 5.00pm. Following on from the successful Open Day last November, attention is now turning to the two-day Spring exhibition. There will be layouts and many trade stands selling new and used rolling stock and modelling components. And as usual there will be a good selection of food and refreshments. Demonstration stands will be present to help out with modelling advice.
  • New Park, Brockenhurst, Polo in the heart of the New Forest, Afternoons of exhilarating fast-paced polo.
    New Forest polo event
    Watch, learn and enjoy. Live commentating, children's activities, food, drink, stalls and music. Fun for all the family. VIP packages available. Gates open at 12.30pm, matches start at approximately 1.30pm. Free entry. There's more information here.
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** New Forest ponies **
New Forest ponies in the road
Ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during the first six months of 2018, 36 animals were killed or injured on Forest roads, compared with 26 in the same period in 2017, a shocking rise of 38%. And in the full year, 63 animals were killed on the roads compared to 56 in 2017.
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley