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NEWS RELEASE No: 1539723 MARCH 2012

Forest Diary, Going for gold

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New Forest Pony at sunset

There’s less than five months to go until the hugely anticipated Olympic Games. As it’s an event that will only happen once in our life times, the Forestry Commission is joining in the celebrations. We’ve teamed up with the New Forest National Park Authority again to run our annual art competition but this year’s has a twist; it’s Olympic themed to showcase the New Forest in the run up to and during the Games.

Our special ‘Olympics open-art competition’ has had an overwhelming number of local entries from budding artists, writers, sculptors and photographers who were set the task of featuring a gold, silver and bronze theme throughout their creations.

There have been some fascinating and unusual entries this year that have used our Olympic colour scheme really imaginatively. We’ve received a beautiful fascinator, a curious wooden seat and some stunning oil paintings and landscape drawings. A selection of creative snaps that have beautifully captured our local wildlife have also been submitted for judging. People have really taken the time to understand the New Forest and transform its ‘special qualities’ into a work of art.

With the competition now closed and as a judge on the panel, I’m very busy searching through the diverse entries, together with the other judges to assess each submission. Once all the judging has taken place and we’ve come to the difficult decision of ranking the entries, the winners and runners-up will be on display at our two Olympic Art exhibitions. The first exhibition will take place from 12 April to 19 May in The Red House Museum in Christchurch and the second in The New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst over the Olympic and Paralympic period between 13 July and 3 September.

There are some great prizes up for grabs with the winner set to receive £500 in vouchers, second place will collect £250 in vouchers and £150 worth of vouchers will be awarded to third place. The best under-16 entry will win £100 in vouchers.

By showcasing our local artistic talent we hope to inspire more people to explore the New Forest, especially during such a culturally significant year. Art enables you to stop and take in your surroundings. You might have visited a place many times before but stopping to think about where you are allows you see it in a completely different light. That’s what we’ve been able to achieve through this competition, thanks to these artistically minded people who treasure the New Forest as much as we do.

For more information about the competition, visit

Libby Burke, Communications Manager