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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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New Forest What's On
August 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.

Quick links

New Forest Gardens (open to the public in 2019 through the National Garden Scheme)
Fairweathers Nursery

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

Thursday, 1st August
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Paraphernalia Fair, 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Saturday, 3rd August
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, New Forest Art Society Exhibition Preview, 7.00pm - 9.00pm.
Tuesday, 6th August
  • 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, 7th August
  • 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.
  • Lyndhurst Library, Reach for the Stars children's activity, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Suitable for children aged 4 years and over. Please note, parents/carers must remain with the children for the duration of the session.
Thursday, 8th August
  • Bolderwood Information Unit, Discover the New Forest, 11.00am - 12 noon. Forestry Commission event. Join a Ranger on a short guided walk and discover what makes the New Forest so special. Learn about the history and heritage of the Forest and its extraordinary diversity of wildlife. Free event but spaces are limited, please book on the day at the Bolderwood Information Unit, suitable for all ages, dogs welcome on leads.
  • Bolton's Bench, Lyndhurst, Wild about Ponies, 1.00pm - 2.00pm. Forestry Commission event. Meet a New Forest Ranger and learn about New Forest ponies and other livestock which live in the forest. Enjoy a fun, free information session and learn all the answers to your questions about the four-legged icons of the New Forest. Suitable for all, one mile walk, dogs welcome on leads, no booking required. Call 0300 067 4601 for more information.
Saturday, 10th August
  • Lyndhurst Library, Reach for the Stars children's activity, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Suitable for children aged 4 years and over. Please note, parents/carers must remain with the children for the duration of the session.
Sunday, 11th August
  • Burley Village Hall, Craft Fayre, 10.30am to 5.00pm.
Wednesday, 14th August
  • 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.
  • Lyndhurst Library, Blast Off children's activity, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Suitable for children aged 4 years and over. Please note, parents/carers must remain with the children for the duration of the session.
Thursday, 15th August
  • Bolderwood Information Unit, Discover the New Forest, 11.00am - 12 noon. Forestry Commission event. Join a Ranger on a short guided walk and discover what makes the New Forest so special. Learn about the history and heritage of the Forest and its extraordinary diversity of wildlife. Free event but spaces are limited, please book on the day at the Bolderwood Information Unit, suitable for all ages, dogs welcome on leads.
Saturday, 17th August
  • Lyndhurst Library, Blast Off children's activity, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Suitable for children aged 4 years and over. Please note, parents/carers must remain with the children for the duration of the session.
Wednesday, 21st August
  • 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, 22nd August
  • Exbury Gardens, Meet, Pet and Ride Donkeys, 11.00am - 4.00pm.
    Exbury donkeys
    Hosted by experts in donkey assisted therapy, Danny Donkey and Pals, this special event is a great way to get close to an animal that's synonymous with the New Forest National Park.

    Meeting and petting free with gardens admission or Friends of Exbury annual membership. Donkey rides are £3 per person. No pre-booking is required for this, just turn up on the day. (Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Donkey rides are limited to children aged 18 months - 12 years. Children must weigh under 7 stone to ride).
Friday, 23rd August
  • Exbury Gardens, Teddy Bears' Picnic.
    Teddy Bears Picnic
    Follow actors on a magical guided journey through the gardens in this free family event, themed around the classic children's rhyme. With songs, games and puppetry for a whole hour, your little explorers will be mesmerised by the imaginative beauty of nature.

    Timings: 11.00 - 12.00, 12.30 - 13.30, 14.00 - 15.00 and 15.30 - 16.30.
    Please meet at the Visitor Entrance approximately 5-10 minutes before your preferred event slot is due to depart.
    Free with gardens admission or Friends of Exbury annual membership. No pre-booking required, just turn up on the day.
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Film Night - Fisherman's Friends (12), 7.00pm for 7.30pm. Fisherman's Friends is a 2019 biographical comedy-drama directed by Chris Foggin from a screenplay by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and Piers Ashworth. The film is based on a true story about Port Isaac's Fisherman's Friends, a group of Cornish fishermen from Port Isaac who were signed by Universal Records and achieved a top 10 hit with their debut album of traditional sea shanties.

    A fast living, cynical London music executive reluctantly heads to Cornwall on a colleague's stag weekend where he's pranked by his boss into trying to sign a group of shanty-singing fishermen. He becomes the ultimate 'fish out of water' struggling to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band who value friendship and community over fame and fortune. Attempting to overcome the fishermen's scepticism about the music business, he finds himself drawn into the community, has his integrity tested and ultimately is shown the meaning of loyalty, love and friendship. This forces him to re-evaluate what really matters in life; ultimately giving him the chance of a different kind of success.

    The film stars an ensemble cast headed by Daniel Mays, James Purefoy and Tuppence Middleton. It was produced by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and James Spring, who produced the hit film Finding Your Feet through their production companies Powder Keg Pictures and Fred Films.
Sunday, 25th August
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Sweet Charity Choir walk and tea, 2.00pm - 6.00pm.
  • Exbury Gardens, Bushcraft.
    Bushcraft
    Embrace the wild side of Exbury. Join the experts at Sunrise Bushcraft for a two-hour family bushcraft session where you and your little explorers will get the chance to take part in a range of outdoor activities including den building, craftwork, stealth games and toasting marshmallows on a campfire.
    Timings: 10.30 - 12.30 and 13.30 - 15.30.
    Tickets £5 per person - book in advance via the Exbury website.
    Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Adults can choose to take part and pay £5 per session or wait at the bushcraft site until the end of the session.
    Valid gardens admission or Friends of Exbury membership also applies and must be purchased / shown before entering Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway.
Monday, 26th August
  • Burley Village Hall, Art Exhibition.
Wednesday, 28th August
  • Lyndhurst Library, Aliens from Outer Space children's activity, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Suitable for children aged 4 years and over. Please note, parents/carers must remain with the children for the duration of the session.
Friday, 30th August
  • Exbury Gardens, Teddy Bears' Picnic.
    Teddy Bears Picnic
    Follow actors on a magical guided journey through the gardens in this free family event, themed around the classic children's rhyme. With songs, games and puppetry for a whole hour, your little explorers will be mesmerised by the imaginative beauty of nature.

    Timings: 11.00 - 12.00, 12.30 - 13.30, 14.00 - 15.00 and 15.30 - 16.30.
    Please meet at the Visitor Entrance approximately 5-10 minutes before your preferred event slot is due to depart.
    Free with gardens admission or Friends of Exbury annual membership. No pre-booking required, just turn up on the day.
Saturday, 31st August
  • Burley Village Hall, Craft Fayre, 10.30am to 5.00pm.
  • Lyndhurst Library, Aliens from Outer Space children's activity, 9.30am - 12.30pm. Suitable for children aged 4 years and over. Please note, parents/carers must remain with the children for the duration of the session.

Longer running events

Saturday, 8th June to Sunday, 1st September
  • St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Command of the Seas: The Navy and the New Forest against Napoleon, Monday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday, 10.00am - 4.00pm.

    Between 1793 and 1815, Britain was at war with revolutionary France. This exhibition will explore some of the key naval engagements in the run up to the decisive victory at Trafalgar in 1805, as well as what life was like in the navy at the time. It will focus on the important contributions of three local admirals, Cornwallis, Peyton and Man, all of whom are buried at Milford churchyard.

    Featuring items relating to these admirals on loan from both national and private collections, the highlight of the show will be JMW Turner's second sketch for the Battle of Trafalgar, on loan from the Tate. Gallery 3 focusses on the New Forest itself, exploring how timber from the forest was used to construct some of the warships that made up Nelson's Navy. There will be children's activities throughout the exhibition and a weekend of events in Milford on 5th - 7th July to commemorate the bicentenary of the death of Admiral Cornwallis.

    This exhibition has been created in partnership with the Milford-on-Sea Historical Record Society and the New Forest National Park Authority.

    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, 13th July to Saturday, 7th September
  • New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst, New Forest Open Art Exhibition, 10.00am - 4.30pm.
    New Forest Open Art Exhibition
    The ever popular New Forest Open Art Exhibition, sponsored by ExxonMobil Fawley, is now in its seventh year. The New Forest, with its timeless beauty, continues to inspire artists of all ages and to attract painters, sculptors and photographers from across the region. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their own favourite piece of work. As many works are for sale, the Open Art exhibition also affords visitors an opportunity to own a piece of their very own New Forest inspired art.

    Admission to the New Forest Heritage Centre is free, although donations are welcome.
Saturday, 20th July to Sunday, 15th September
  • Exbury Gardens, Look Twice Artists' Exhibition, 10.00am - 5.00pm.
    Look Twice Artists Exhibition
    View a unique collection of art inspired by the local area. Local artists' group Look Twice will be exhibiting at Exbury throughout the summer. The 11 artists draw their inspiration from the the New Forest, local beaches and harbours, as well as well-known landmarks including our very own Exbury Gardens.
    Each member of Look Twice has a very unique and individual style, using a variety of different mediums including oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels, inks and graphite pencil.

    Tickets: Free with gardens admission or Friends of Exbury annual membership.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 30th and 31st July, and 1st August
  • New Forest Show, New Park, Brockenhurst.
    New Forest Show
    The New Forest Show is a three day celebration of Farming, Food and Fun which is rated among the top agricultural shows in the country. From food and flowers, music and main ring attractions to cooking, crafts and county pursuits, you're guaranteed to find something different in every corner of the showground.

    And there will be a brand new Canine Arena and Live Music Stage added to the mix of attractions this year.

    Buy your tickets online before 23rd July to receive a 15% discount.
    Visit the New Forest Show website to find out more.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from Tuesday, 30th July until Thursday, 29th August
  • New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst, Summer Holiday Discovery Days, 10.00am - 4.00pm. The New Forest Heritage Centre's Discovery Days run every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the school holidays so why not drop in and have a go at some Forest-related crafts?

    There's a different theme each day for the crafts and plenty of quizzes, museum trails and colouring activities to keep the whole family busy. Museum entry is free (as is the wifi) and craft activities are by donation. And there's no need to book, just drop in.
Sunday, 4th August to Sunday, 11th August
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, New Forest Art Society Exhibition, 10.00am - 5.00pm. An excellent exhibition with a wide range of quality art works for sale, including framed and unframed paintings, sculptures, ceramics and greeting cards.
Saturday, 17th August to Thursday, 22nd August
  • Lyndhurst Community Centre, Village Artists Exhibition, 10.00am - 5.00pm.
Saturday and Sunday, 17th and 18th August
  • 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.
Saturday, 27th July to Sunday, 1st September
  • 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.
Sunday, 28th July to Sunday, 4th August
  • Burley Village Hall, Craft Fayre, 10.30am to 5.00pm.
Saturday, 17th August to Monday 26th August
  • Burley Village Hall, Art Exhibition.
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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