Wellcome-Two National Parks, ecology, conservation and landscape

Ref: C3530851

Exmoor National Park and the New Forest National Park are small by national standards and contrast in many ways making them fascinating to study. Before 1815 Exmoor was a royal forest,while the New Forest remains so to the present. Exmoor was not considered suitable for timber production for the Navy but the New Forest was and it remains in Crown ownership. While Exmoor was developed for agriculture in the first half of the nineteenth century, following the advent of iron battleship New Forest changed towards softwood production and would eventually present great conservation conflicts. This divergent development has led to very different landscape evolution while a combination of different soils, topographies, climate and management produces very different conservation challenges. The double-session outlines the history of these national treasures explaining how physical characteristics have led to differing landscape and conservation strategies in the twenty-first century.

Additional information about this course

This activity is part of a project that is funded by the Wellcome Trust

Course aim

This course will discuss the nature, value, landscape, landscape history and conservation objectives for the New Forest National Park and Exmoor National Park from the middle ages into the twenty-first century.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Understand the contrasting natural environments that created Exmoor and the New Forest as areas that eventually became valued at a national level as worth of landscape conservation.
  • Appreciate the similarities and differences between the histories of these two contrasting National Park areas.
  • Investigate the differences in land management, typically agricultural management an modern forestry considerations that have provided both problems for nature conservationas well as pointing the way towards sustainable development and maintaining biodiversity on these landscapes.
  • Outline modern conservation strategies as applied to these two contrasting areas.
  • Understand the work of the Wellcome Trust

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Formal teaching and there will be opportunity for questions during the sessions.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Wellcome-Two National Parks, ecology, conservation and landscape


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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