The primary aim of Wild New Forest is to support conservation action in the New Forest National Park, through field-based recording, survey and photography of the local fauna. In other words, getting out there as often as possible with eyes and ears open! A secondary aim is to responsibly share information about New Forest wildlife, in order to assist and inspire others to discover and protect this special place.
In order to complement other conservation organisations that are active in the New Forest, we have identified a series of specific objectives:
- Design, deliver, and in some cases co-ordinate, volunteer-based surveys to collect robust scientific data for high-priority bird species in the New Forest, e.g. rapidly declining species such as Curlew;
- Search for, record, and where possible photograph, some of the more elusive animals in the New Forest, e.g. Pine Marten and Otter, and make these data available to the relevant conservation bodies;
- Utilise specialist techniques such as camera trapping, bird ringing and moth trapping on the open forest (under the appropriate licences), to support the two aims above;
- Responsibly share information and sightings relating to New Forest wildlife, through this website and the associated blog, social media, public lectures and guided walks.
The Wild New Forest team
Russell Wynn has lived in the New Forest for over 15 years and is a former editor of the Hampshire Bird Report and Chair of The Seabird Group of UK and Ireland. He has previous experience of designing and delivering wildlife surveys and citizen science programmes, e.g. SeaWatch SW, has published numerous ornithological papers in scientific journals, and has undertaken survey work for agencies such as Natural England. He has found two new bird species for Hampshire within the New Forest (Stilt Sandpiper and Rustic Bunting), and is probably the only person to have seen the iconic trio of Blue Whale, Black-browed Albatross and White-tailed Eagle in England! In addition to Wild New Forest activities, Russell is a keen walker, runner and cyclist, and competes in local races for New Forest Runners. Professionally, he is a marine scientist based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, has a part-secondment with Defra in London, and is an Honorary Professor of Ocean and Earth Science at University of Southampton.
Marcus Ward has lived in the New Forest for 13 years and is chairman of the Hampshire Ornithological Society (HOS) scientific sub-committee and member of the HOS records panel. He is a licensed British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) ringer (C category), and a species writer for the Hampshire Bird Report and the recent Hampshire Bird Atlas. In addition, Marcus is involved in New Forest survey for organisations such as Butterfly Conservation and BTO, and has published articles on iconic New Forest species such as Firecrest and Hawfinch in the Hampshire Bird Report. He is a popular speaker on New Forest wildlife for local societies, and has found some of Hampshire’s rarest birds in the New Forest (e.g. Short-toed Lark and Two-barred Crossbill). In addition to his mild obsession with New Forest wildlife, Marcus has a young family who enjoy cycling and picnicking in the New Forest, as well as investigating the rich and diverse history of the area.
Russell and Marcus are both members of conservation organisations that are active in and around the New Forest, including RSPB, British Trust for Ornithology, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Hampshire Ornithological Society, The Seabird Group of UK and Ireland, and the New Forest Association.