Together with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, we are delighted to have set up a group of young people, aged 13 - 17, who share a love of nature, called the Young Naturalists. 

Under the excellent supervision of Tracy Standish, this group meets every last Sunday of the month at their Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve in Ringwood, on the edge of the New Forest. Sessions include practical conservation and habitat management, species surveys and monitoring, learning from local wildlife expert(s) and more.  Our hope is that over the next 4 years, this group will grow and offer exciting new opportunities which amongst other things, will include a summer school, traineeships and accredited learning programmes.

We were delighted to have recently received an award of Highly Recommended in the Young People category by the CPRE  (The Campaign to Protect Rural England). This award recognises schemes which celebrate a beautiful, diverse and living countryside that everyone can value and enjoy.

You can read about what The Young Naturalists have been doing every month by going to Blashford Lakes blog

Video by Amy Hall

Watch the video to learn more about this group who meet every last Sunday of the month.

Dawn Chorus
Follow this link for details of the dawn chorus session

For more information contact Tracy Standish on 01425 472760 or email

Residential Weekend at Beaulieu

November 2017

At the end of November the Young Naturalists headed back to the Countryside Education Trust‘s Home Farm in Beaulieu for another two night residential. With a few different people to their last visit in May, they had plans to re-visit some of the activities and places they enjoyed earlier in the year, whilst also doing something a little bit different. Here’s what they got up to…

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Young Naturalists building bird boxes

30th October 2017

Eleven of Young Naturalists made twelve very fine bird boxes to replace some of the older ones on the reserve that have seen better days. Volunteer Geoff very kindly sourced some offcuts of timber and pre-made the kits for the session, leaving the group with the task of putting them together and numbering them, so they could be identified later on and monitored. I’m not sure what they enjoyed the most, the opportunity to use power tools or the opportunity to have a go at pyrography to put their stamp on their creation.

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Young Naturalists on the Bird Trail

24th September 2017

The Young Naturalists participated in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Hampshire Ornithological Society “Bird Trail” at Blashford Lakes. Before starting the trail, the group watched a bird ringing demonstration and visited Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre‘s static display of birds. Once on the trail they managed to spot 47 different bird species. On heading back to the Centre and handing in their sightings sheet, the Young Naturalists were delighted to discover their bird spotting efforts had paid off and they had come second in the competition.

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Young Naturalists visit to Martin Down

4th June 2017

On 4th June 2017, twelve Young Naturalists joined us for a trip to Martin Down National Nature Reserve, one of the largest areas of uninterrupted chalk downland in Britain. Jointly owned and managed by Natural England and Hampshire Country Council, the reserve is home to a fantastic variety of plants and animals associated with chalk downland and scrub habitats.

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Beaulieu Weekend

13th May 2017

Click on the links below to find out more about the exciting activities the Young Naturalist group got up to during their residential weekend in Beaulieu.