Trustees and Council members of the Friends of the New Forest - New Forest Association are actively involved in campaigning to safeguard the future of the Forest, which faces many threats.
Trustees and Council members share responsibility for creating awareness of the organisation’s activities, to educate or involve the public by mobilising their support on a particular issue, or to influence or change public attitudes.
Within the political remit, Council members may be required to influence political decision makers to further or support the organisation’s charitable purposes. The Friends are 'critical friends' of, and seek to influence, the New Forest National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, as well as local authorities and national government, while working alongside the Wildlife Trust and other pressure groups.
Among our current concerns as Friends of the New Forest is unregulated over-use of the Forest for recreational purposes.
Trustees and Council members normally meet in alternate months (currently by Zoom), but are active at other times too. The Council comprises people with relevant knowledge and experience such as conservationists, naturalists, academics, and local community leaders. They will take a lead on issues relevant to their knowledge and serve on or chair appropriate working groups or committees. Trustees and Council members also get involved with monitoring planning applications, preparing submissions to public bodies, engaging in face-to-face campaigning activities such as preparing or manning a stand at the New Forest Show or another local show, or giving presentations about the Friends to community groups. So we need working Trustees and Council members with time to spare on occasions, who care deeply about the New Forest, and therefore they probably need to live in or near the Forest.
The key skills we seek are:
We are also looking for candidates who may have:
We are seeking a Council member with an interest in the New Forest, who probably lives in the Forest or nearby, can attend bi-monthly meetings held in Lyndhurst and additionally give a day or two a month on average. Communication is much easier if they are email users. A strong interest in or knowledge of conservation issues and the natural world would be important in addition to other relevant skills and knowledge, and willingness to campaign to protect the Forest for future generations.
The Friends of the New Forest - New Forest Association, the second oldest conservation organisation in the world, was 150 years old in 2017. Its founder members saved the New Forest from being turned over completely to timber production by promoting the New Forest Act of 1877. It needs invigorating and some new blood if it is to see 300! It has recently rebranded itself as the Friends of the New Forest to help the public to understand its role.
There are always new challenges to the well-being of the Forest, and the Friends as the recognised National Park Society and 'critical friend' of the National Park Authority work closely with other local organisations to monitor these and make a positive contribution to the protection of the long term future of this unique area. In addition as a member of the Council of the Campaign for National Parks, the Friends have access to government at the highest level.
New Trustees and Council members will be important in helping to ensure the successful continuation of the work of the Friends to protect the New Forest for future generations.
Trustees and members of the Council of the Friends of the New Forest enjoy working with a like-minded group of people and get satisfaction when they see results. We currently lack members with campaigning skills and experience, and so new Trustees and Council members bringing these skills have a vital contribution to make. Like our founders in 1867, they could contribute to saving the New Forest for the future.