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Pondhead Conservation Trust

This is an opportunity to volunteer with an award-winning woodland restoration project and enjoy plenty of fresh air and exercise.

We are a registered conservation charity. Our activities vary throughout the year. During the autumn/winter seasons, we use hand tools (saws, loppers, etc.) to open up and cut back the edges of overgrown rides/tracks and as the season progresses, we coppice hazel on a rotational basis and lay hedges. These activities are aimed at improving the biodiversity of the woodland.

During spring and summer, we use the timber cut in the previous seasons to make BBQ charcoal in our two onsite kilns, which is sold locally. This is supplemented with some craft courses (chair making). These annual operations and associated income ensure that the woodland is managed on a fully sustainable and self-funding basis. There is now plenty of evidence that volunteering in a woodland environment enhances both physical and mental wellbeing.

What should participants expect?

You will be joining a friendly team of like-minded people where everyone works within their capabilities. You will learn new skills and obtain a greater understanding of New Forest’s management, wildlife and history. No previous knowledge is necessary, training is provided and we provide all tools and equipment. All tasks are risk assessed, our task leaders are first aid qualified and we hold all necessary insurances. We believe in making volunteering fun, informative and rewarding.

Where does the activity take place?

All activities take place in Pondhead Inclosure which is part of the Crown land of the New Forest – we operate under license from Forestry England. Pondhead Inclosure is situated on the outskirts of Lyndhurst between the Lymington and Beaulieu roads

Pondhead Inclosure comprises 78 hectares (180 acres) of mixed deciduous woodland. Approximately 55% is ancient woodland (predominantly beech) and the remaining 45% contains the largest area of coppiced hazel woodland remaining in the New Forest. It is an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and its woodland structure is very different to the rest of the Forest as no grazing/browsing by ponies and cattle has been permitted with the inclosure for many centuries.

When does it take place?

Activities take place throughout the year but we are busier during the autumn/winter season. Our tasks usually take place twice a week during weekdays

Who can participate?

Anyone over the age of 18. It’s easy to sign up as a volunteer via our website. There is no minimum commitment and you are able to book on tasks via our Events Diary on the website. Groups can also be accommodated subject to prior arrangement.



Other Useful Information

All equipment is provided by us. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear.

All relevant information is available on our website.

Contact Details