Welcome to the Mend Our Mountains Lepe Loop appeal.
We're trying to raise £3,000 for The Lepe Loop; a trail gives thousands of people ever year an accessible taste of coastline, forest and natural beauty. But it needs your help. You can help us repair it by pledging today - the £3,000 we want to raise will enable us to undertake urgent work to replace signs, mend bridges and fix sections of the path.
The Lepe Loop is a five mile circular walk from Lepe Country Park that takes you along the stunning coastline of the New Forest National Park, through ancient woodland and into wide open farmland. It boasts panoramic views out over the Solent to the Isle of Wight, a gorgeous new lighthouse built in 2000 to commemorate the Millennium, and a deep historical connection with World War Two and the D-Day landings – many of the troops bound for the Normandy beaches departed from this area. The Lepe Loop deserves a route that does justice to its magnificent surroundings.
Though this is a much loved and well used walking route, in places that use has started to show. There are three big areas that could benefit from improvement – the signage (interpretation), a series of bridges, and some sections of the path where surface improvements would encourage more use.
The solution - and what your pledge will do
By improving the surface of the route and its signage, the walk will be more accessible and easier to follow. Improved interpretation will ensure more people learn about the route as they walk, helping to develop their love for this special area. The work will be undertaken with help from volunteer groups and local youth groups like the Princes Trust, which represents an exciting opportunity to get members of the community and young people involved in helping with the work and promote a sense of ownership of the route.
Providing a robust, accessible and useable route to a high standard all year round encourages local users and visitors to walk the Lepe Loop and relieves some pressure on the more sensitive areas of the Open Forest – the sensitive heathland habitats the New Forest National Park is famed for and important habitats for ground nesting birds and other rare wildlife.
It’s great work with a real community benefit, in an area which has a reputation for being an accessible and easy outdoors environment close to major population centres – but it will only happen if the New Forest National Park are able to raise the cash needed.
To help us reach this total (and those in our other Mend Our Mountains projects) we're working with a huge number of partners, many of whom have made incredibly kind donations - you can see some of them below.
It means we can offer an amazing range of rewards - from t-shirts and mugs to unique experiences. You can see all of these, some of which are exclusive to the New Forest project, on the right. We think there's something for everyone, on any kind of budget, and we've worked hard to make sure our partners are offering you something really great in return for your valuable pledge.
And it's not just about the New Forest. As you've probably guessed, Mend Our Mountains is a huge campaign, spanning the entire family of 15 UK National Parks. We've got 13 primary projects in 11 parks, and every park will benefit in some way. Crowdfunding is just part of what we're doing - we want to raise £1,000,000 in total, the most ambitious campaign of its type ever.
If you want to take a look at all the projects in the appeal, and see how close we're getting to our overall target, check out the Mend Our Mountains Crowdfunder Homepage.
Pledge today and protect the Lepe Loop for the future.
Organic cotton Mend Our Mountain tees. Sizes shown: Men’s Medium, Women’s Small