Foxbury - connecting people with places

The lily pond at Foxbury in the New Forest, Hampshire

We are part of a £4.5 million Heritage Lottery funded project in the Forest called ‘Our Past, Our Future’ (OPOF).

OPOF is headed by the New Forest National Park Authority and involves 10 partners from across the New Forest.

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Project aims

  • Restore lost landscapes
  • Develop traditional New Forest skills
  • Inspire a generation of people to cherish and care for the New Forest

What are we doing in Foxbury?

Improving access

  • Laying grass protective mesh on Foxbury’s car park and access track, which will allow grasses to grow back up through it, knitting the mesh together and providing a firm surface for vehicles
  • Building a boardwalk over Foxbury’s ponds and wetland, so everyone can have a go at pond dipping and discovering wildlife in a bog environment

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Improving facilities

  • Building three timber cabins to provide shelter, classroom study, and a place to store volunteer/educational tools on site… and to have a cuppa in during the winter months!
  • Installing a compost toilet
These cabins take pride of place at Foxbury's base camp
The new cabins at Foxbury, New Forest, Hampshire
These cabins take pride of place at Foxbury's base camp

Improving habitats

  • Continuing to restore the site back to rare lowland heathland through traditional management practises
  • Planting 26 hectares of native broad-leafed woodland, increasing habitat biodiversity whilst ensuring a sustainable future for Foxbury
Tree sapling growing in the forest
Tree sapling growing in the forest, Hampshire
Tree sapling growing in the forest

Involving the local community

  • Delivering a year-round programme of events and volunteer days so local people can learn about Forest wildlife and help grow Foxbury’s future.
  • Inviting community groups and schools to visit Foxbury and get involved in Wild Play and educational activities.
Foxbury is the perfect place to get close to wildlife
Children hunting for bugs at Foxbury, New Forest, Hampshire
Foxbury is the perfect place to get close to wildlife

Success stories so far...

  • Sarum Orienteering held an event, taking this recreational pressure off the open Forest (Nov 2015)
  • Over 200 people come out to plant over 5000 trees (Dec 2015-Feb 2016)
  • Over 400 people attended our Easter event and learnt about ground nesting bird conservation (March 2016).
  • Hearing Dogs Charity walk held charity walk, BBC Spring Watch’s Chris Packham came out to promote responsible dog use in the Forest (May 2016)
  • 300 pupils from Thorden School visited Foxbury to undertake heathland fieldwork (May 2016)
  • Wellow beaver group visits Foxbury to build dens (Jun 2016)
  • Nightjar walks and surveys have show Foxbury has the densest population in the New Forest (May-July 2016)