A NEW wild play trail with sculptures and a fairy forest is to be created in the heart of Bransgore.

The trail at Clare Lodge copse aims to encourage residents to explore nature and exercise outside. The £7,000 trail is being funded by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) through the release of developer contributions from new residential developments in the National Park, to support public open space provision in the area.

Claire Pearce, the wild play officer for the NPA said: “I am really excited to be working with Bransgore Parish Council in developing a wild play trail. Right now, it is more important than ever for children to have easy access to nature with opportunities to engage their imagination and energy with the natural environment. I hope that the wild play trail will become a much-loved part of the village.”

Features of the new trail will include a nature-based sculptures; rustic benches, carvings on benches to provide prompts of activity, balancing and stepping logs; tiny fairy forest to promote imaginative play and exploration; viewing screens with viewing holes at different heights.

The project is being led by Bransgore Parish Council and the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

Bransgore Parish Council Chairman Jacque Lay said: “Looking towards the future, the council has accepted an offer from the New Forest National Park Authority to create a small woodland play trail in the Clare Lodge public open space. This will be aimed towards the under eights and offers them an opportunity to explore the natural world. The plan will take on board the concerns that some residents expressed during a consultation with the neighbouring properties.”

The trail is due to be completed by the end of March 2021, will be the fourth wild play site in the New Forest.

The existing three at Ashurst, Sway and Holbury, were created through the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Our Past, Our Future is a Landscape Partnership Scheme for the New Forest which, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is undertaking a range of projects to restore lost habitats, develop Forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the New Forest.

The five-year scheme includes 21 projects and is being led by the New Forest National Park Authority working with several delivery and funding partners.