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New Forest raptors

From 30 March to 2 September 2018

  • Video link
  • Staff on hand to help
  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Accessible site
Adult goshawk

Image: Mark Hamblin

Ever wondered what’s hiding just out of view above this spectacular forest?

Have you heard mewing cries in the sky, spotted the speedy dash of a bird hunting along a hedgerow or watched a silhouette hovering on the skyline and wanted to find out what it is?

Visit our New Forest Date with Nature to find out more about our brilliant birds of prey; from mewing buzzards, speedy goshawks and hovering kestrels, and much, much more!

Our nestcams let you witness the family life of these secretive species, up close and personal, from egg to first flight. Each year brings new surprises and species, and our team of volunteers are on hand to teach you all about bird behaviour.

We also have an interactive touchscreen; perfect for children (or even adults) who want to know more about the species that call the New Forest home. Based at the New Forest Reptile Centre, this Date with Nature is also home to every native species of lizard, snake, frog and toad in the UK! Come and meet them - you'll be able to see them all in special reptile 'pods’. If you’re lucky you might even arrive for feeding time!

There are miles of nature trails to explore too, keep your eyes peeled for deer, squirrels, mice and the notorious New Forest ponies as you wander the site, or stop for a picnic near the bird feeders, and marvel at the flashes of colour as tiny birds come searching for treats.

During the school holidays we also offer ‘Wild Wednesdays’, a midweek arts and craft sessions for the kids, where you can get creative with the RSPB, Forestry Commission and New Forest National Park Authority. Come and make something to help you and the kids get closer to nature. Will you pretend to be an animal by wearing the mask you’ve just made or perhaps make a bird feeder to take home? What activity will it be when you visit?

But they're not the only attraction on this date – Our knowledgeable volunteers can tell you all about the lapwings, curlews, nightjars, snipe, and woodlarks that live safely within the protection of the New Forest National Park.

Entry to this date is free, but donations for parking are welcome.

Don't forget to tell us about your visit using #NFDateNature on facebook and @RSPB_SouthEast on Twitter

When can you see us?

Friendly staff and volunteers will be in the Forestry Commission's New Forest Reptile Centre daily, 10am - 4.30pm.

What's at the site?

There is a large flat screen TV showing live and recorded footage from the nest, and another TV showing a film about other brilliant birds that nest in the New Forest.

How to find us

We are at the Forestry Commission's New Forest Reptile Centre.

By car, or bike, the centre is 2 miles south west of Lyndhurst off the A35, just prior to the turning to Rhinefield Drive.

Still got some questions?

Telephone: RSPB South East regional office on 01273 775333

This date has been brought to you with the help of Forestry Commission and New Forest National Park Authority. This project is being part-financed by the New Forest National Park Authority's Sustainable Development Fund. Webcam images are supplied by Carnyx Films.

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