Public Events Safety Advice

All large public events in New Forest, including those in aid of charity, must comply with recognised safety standards.

If you are planning to organise a public event, review our event organiser checklist to make sure you are prepared.

You can take advantage of the advice available from the Safety Advisory Group (SAG). This is a group of relevant agencies, including the council, that can help event organisers to ensure that public safety is paramount.

Event types

The SAG will help with all public events, including:

  • fetes and fairs
  • open air concerts and music festivals
  • trade shows
  • horse shows, agricultural shows, dog shows, car or caravan shows
  • open air entertainment including theatre, opera and historic reenactments
  • sporting events
  • cycling events
  • processions, marches, parades and carnivals
  • bonfire and firework displays
  • street parties.

Notify the SAG of an event

You can notify the SAG about your upcoming event using the online form below.

You should notify SAG at the earliest opportunity. Large events should be submitted at least six months in advance.

For further guidance, download the Event Notification Procedures document below.

Icon for pdf Event Notification Procedures and the Safety Advisory Group [1.25MB]

Assessment of your event

The SAG members will be emailed with your event details and plans provided. The event organiser will receive an acknowledgement of this.

Each event will then be risk assessed to determine the level of assistance that can be offered.

Any necessary advice and guidance will usually be given on a one-to-one basis from a SAG member to the organiser.

Some smaller events and events that do not pose any specific risks will not require the SAG members to meet. In more complex cases or where considered appropriate, the SAG members can meet as a group or sub-group to discuss a case.

If an event is identified as likely to compromise public safety, the appropriate SAG agency may need to consider action to prevent the event from taking place unless safety improvements are made. In this case, organisers will be contacted directly by the agency.

After your event

The SAG welcomes post-event feedback in relation to notified events. This can be provided up to 28 days after an event has been held.

A feedback box is provided on the public events register. This is for general comments and experiences only, and will help with improving the safety of events in the future.

If you have a complaint that you would like followed up, contact the relevant council department as necessary. If your complaint relates to crime and disorder offences, contact Hampshire Police.

Event safety information

Visit the Health and Safety Executive website for guidance on running events safely.

Visit the GOV.UK website for information on organising a street party.

You can download several documents related to safety at events below. These should not be a substitute for existing technical guidance or documents otherwise available.

Icon for pdf The Use of Stewards and Marshals [114.99KB]

Icon for pdf Fire Safety at Public Events [15.57KB]

Icon for pdf Event Safety Guide [1.25MB]

Icon for pdf Organising Bonfire and Firework Displays [955.45KB]

Icon for pdf Celebrating with Bonfires and Fireworks - A Community Guide [324.93KB]

Public register of events

We maintain public registers of events in New Forest.

View a register of public events listed by the SAG using the link below.

About the SAG

Public events can enhance community life, but the potential for risk to public safety and environmental damage is increased if they are poorly planned. Proper planning and management by the event organiser is essential to reduce those risks.

The Safety Advisory Group co-ordinates the efforts of relevant agencies to provide advice to anyone who wishes to organise an event within the New Forest area.

The aims and objectives of the SAG are to:

  • encourage high levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice and guidance to event organisers
  • foster good working relationships with event organisers
  • share and promote best practice
  • encourage co-operation between its members to ensure that public safety is a top priority for event organisers.

The SAG is made up of core members and invited representatives from other agencies when needed. The core members are officers from:

  • New Forest District Council (Environmental Health, Licensing, Development Control, Transportation)
  • Hampshire County Council (Highways and Emergency Planning)
  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services
  • South Central Ambulance Service
  • Forestry Commission
  • The New Forest National Park.

The Chair of the SAG may invite additional people, for example:

  • the event organiser
  • the licence holder
  • public transport providers
  • town centre managers
  • Primary Care Trust.

Contact details

For further information or queries about events or the SAG, contact us using the details below.


Christa Ferguson
Chair of Safety Advisory Group
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

Check dates, permissions and licences when organising a public event.

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