New Forest (Lepe Loop)

The Lepe Loop Trail gives thousands of people ever year an accessible taste of coastline, forest and natural beauty. But it needs your help.

The trail

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.

The problem

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 There are three big areas that need to be improved – the signage (interpretation) is unclear and outdated, there are a series of bridges that are in need of repair, and some sections of the path are overgrown and boggy. In winter, some parts of the walk are impassable with mud.

WATCH: Mend the New Forest on BMCTV

The solution

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.

Thanks to the generosity of thousands, the Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million appeal has succeeded in raising enough money to completely fund work on nearly all 13 of the projects we set out to support – a fantastic result.

Repairs have already started on several of these paths (see the blog for the latest updates), and the rest will be completed over the summer of 2019 and into 2020.

This project, the Lepe Loop Trail, is now going ahead after a significant amount of funding was secured. However, you are still very welcome to make a donation to Mend Our Mountains overall. Your money will go towards either supporting additional work on the projects listed on this website or helping to fund future Mend Our Mountains initiatives.

You can make a donation of any size – choose ‘Donate what you want’ – or select one of the other amounts.

All online donations are currently via PayPal – if you would prefer not to use this method or would like to make a large donation (£500~), please contact the team directly on All money raised goes via the BMC’s charity, the Access and Conservation Trust.

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About Us
Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million is a call to action to everyone who values the hills, mountains and landscapes of Britain. It aims to galvanise mass support for things we all use: the paths, bridleways and bridges which underpin our experiences in the great outdoors. Through a year-long appeal we aim to raise £1 million in total for a range of vital projects within the UK’s entire family of 15 National Parks. Navigate our website to find out more.
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