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Planning an event

This page gives helpful tips and advice to ensure you think about all important aspects of organising your event,

Please also see our organising an event pages which give information on how to notify us of your event and the advice that the safety advisory group can give you.

On this page:

1. Check the date

Preparing an event is likely to take longer than you expect, so plan well ahead.

For larger events or those with high risks, you may need between 6 months to a year to plan. Know your site and get any consents or licences well in advance (see below).

You can view a register of public events to make sure that your planned event does not clash with other events in the area notified to us.

In addition, other local events are listed on the What's on New Forest Events Guide and on the New Forest National Park's event page.

Pony round-up dates

Areas of the New Forest may be very busy on pony drifts or 'round-ups' dates, when the health and well being of New Forest ponies is checked:

  Pony round up dates 2024 (PDF) [149KB] (opens new window)

If your event falls on one of these dates (mostly between August and November), call the Verderers' Office on 023 8028 2052 to obtain location details.

As ponies can be unpredictable, these events should be avoided by the public, and the details are provided to warn road users and walkers in the area.

2. Check that you have landowner permission

You must ensure that you have sought and received permission to use the land where the event is planned for.

If you want to hold an event on land owned or managed by New Forest District Council, find out more on the community events on public open spaces page.

You can check the ownership of land on the Land Registry website.

3. Tell us about the event

Tell us about a public event by completing an online notification form.

4. Prepare documents to accompany your notification

Depending upon the size of your event, you may need to prepare the following documents:

  • for larger events: an  event management plan (Word doc) [74KB]  
  • for all events: a risk assessment, evidence of public and employee liability insurance and a site plan, showing how the site will be laid out

You are still advised to reference Covid 19 in your documents to account for changes to the public health situation, and to enable organisers to be able to respond to any changes and implement the necessary measures to prevent the spread of infection.

5. Check if you need a licence or Temporary Event Notice (TEN)

You will need a license or temporary event notice if your event includes:

  • the sale of alcohol
  • provision of late night refreshment between 11pm and 5am
  • regulated entertainment such as music, singing or dancing

You will need to submit an application with sufficient notice before the planned event.

See our Premises Licence and Temporary Event Notice pages for more information.

In addition, if your event includes any activities which involve animals, the exhibitor may need an Animal Exhibition Licence. You should check that they have a licence before allowing them to attend. Examples of exhibition include animal petting, horse and cart rides, pony or donkey rides, ferret racing and falconry displays.

6. Check road closure requirements and roadworks

If your event needs a road to be closed for any length of time, you may need to apply for a Road Closure Order.

The County Council will try to keep the area of the event, and key to and from the event, clear of planned works. However, you are still encouraged to regularly check the website to identify any works that might have an impact on the event.

7. Appoint a safety officer

Choose someone with experience to be the Safety Officer on the organising team. Where possible, make safety their only role. You may decide to pay for independent advice from someone with proven experience in events similar to yours, who can assist you with preparation of your plans and risk assessments.

8. Further information

Events Guidance
Street parties
Green events
Infectious diseases at events
Hot weather 
Sports events
Fire Safety
Terrorist Attacks
Stewards and marshalls


9. Information for cycling events

In a popular destination such as the New Forest, as a cycling event organiser you must take particular care to ensure that cyclists can enjoy the scenery and experience to the full, whilst limiting the impacts on the natural environment and to residents of the area.

With this in mind, the New Forest National Park cycling code and the Cycle Event Organiser's Charter (PDF) [165KB] have been produced, which all organisers are asked to follow.

The charter refers organisers to the location of riding schools in the New Forest, which should be considered when route planning. You can view a map of riding school locations below.

Map of riding school locations (PDF) [2MB] (opens new window)

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