WE HAVE HAD TO CANCEL THIS GATHERING DUE TO THE PANDEMIC
We will be refunding all members.
Jane & Steve intend to re-schedule this gathering in 2021.
Jane & Steve Page have organised a 3 night special interest trip to the New Forest for fellow club members interested in nature and wildlife. It includes a day’s minibus outing with an expert naturalist guide with a pub meal, and a morning guided walk with picnic lunch. We’ll be based at Long Meadow campsite near Brockenhurst with direct access to Forest walks and cycle paths. There’s also the optional extra of a visit to a local produce restaurant which grows and forages its own fresh food for the menu.
The New Forest is an important ecological area, one of the country’s nature hotspots, and we’re hoping to experience some of the iconic springtime sights and sounds, with a variety of species including: birds, butterflies, bats, deer, ancient trees and woodland wildflowers. The trip is suitable for beginners and more experienced nature spotters alike.
DUE TO THE NATURE OF THIS GATHERING IT IS UNFORTUNATELY NOT SUITABLE FOR DOGS.
Monday 4 May 2020 arrivals from 1pm
Depart by Thursday 7 May 4pm.
3 nights at Long Meadow Campsite, New Park, Brockenhurst, SO42 7QH, hardstanding pitches with electric hook up. Late departures by 4pm agreed. The campsite is 1.5 miles pleasant forest walk from Brockenhurst and has easy access to walks and cycle routes.
Long Meadow Campsite
One day tour with private expert naturalist guide, from Naturetrek, https://www.naturetrek.co.uk transport by minibus and a delicious pub lunch! Focus: general natural history of the New Forest with birds being the most prevalent of the fauna. Nature Trek Itinerary.
Free day to explore on foot, by bike or bus e.g. Roydon Woods nature reserve, New Forest Reptile Centre, the ancient Knightwood Oak, New Forest Wildlife Park, scenic New Forest villagesetc.
Guided 3 mile nature walk taking approximately 2 hours from campsite with home made picnic lunch, with Walking Picnics http://www.walkingpicnics.co.uk .
OPTIONAL extra - local produce meal at The Pig Hotel in private dining room, drinks on terrace, wander round grounds, kitchen garden, orchard meadow. https://www.thepighotel.com/brockenhurst/ - cost around £49 per person including 3 course meal, service and taxis.
Costs are below. To reserve your place a deposit of £60 is required. Full balance will be required at the beginning of February 2020. Maximum number of people is 16 participants, notionally 8 - 10 vans.
Please indicate when booking how many people per van and per activity:
Campsite - approx £77 per unit (awning extra)
Naturetrek trip & lunch - £75 per person
Walking Picnic - £15 per person
Dinner at The Pig - £49 per person including service and transport
There will be no serious or strenuous walking, with easy walks on gentle terrain. Binoculars are essential. Since it can be muddy underfoot we would suggest you bring walking boots, and wellingtons may be useful if the weather looks wet.
Nature and The New Forest
The New Forest is one of the most important ecological areas in Britain. It comprises a vast area of rolling heathland, mixed forest and damp boggy hollows, in south- west Hampshire and south-east Dorset. The Forest is still managed under a pastoral system, incorporating ancient grazing rights and periodic controlled burnings of the heathland. Indeed, it is this age old form of management that has both created and conserved the New Forest’s unique ecological richness and diversity.
Over the past 150 years Britain has lost almost 80% of its lowland heathland and today the New Forest holds the largest and most important area remaining in the country. As a result it contains a huge variety of rare species of plants and animals. Amongst the insects, dragonflies, moths and butterflies are particularly well represented whilst five of the six British reptiles occur here, including the rare Smooth Snake and Sand Lizard. Roe, Fallow, Red and Sika Deer all graze the woodland edges and in terms of birds, the New Forest holds an unparalleled range of scarce breeders. These include over half of the total British population of Dartford Warblers (around 500 pairs), plus Woodlarks, Wood Warbler, Crossbills, Nightjars and raptors such as Hobby, Goshawk and Honey Buzzard. There is also a rich variety of plants, especially in the damper areas of heathland.