Top Menu

Our Patron and President

About Us

About us

Our vision

Our history

What we do

Our Patron, President
and Vice Presidents

Our Trustees and Council

Our Committees


Our Council members bring a wide range of skills and knowledge together to help us work for the protection and enhancement of the New Forest.
Could you become a Council member and a part of our campaigning team?

Contact John Ward, our chairman,
to find out more:

Our Patron and President

Our Patron

Belinda Lady Montagu (1932-2022)

Belinda Lady Montagu (

In 2021 Belinda Lady Montagu stepped down from her role as Patron of of our Association. Currently we do not have a Patron.

She was a long-standing friend to the New Forest and supporter of the New Forest Association. She was our President from 1983 to 1995 and from then until 2021 Patron of the Association.

Our President

Professor Matthew Kelly

 President - Professor Matthew Kelly

Professor Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly is Professor of Modern History at Northumbria University. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate work at Oxford before lecturing for ten years at the University of Southampton. During this time, he got to know the New Forest on foot and by bicycle. He works on modern environmental history, focusing on the history of the National Parks and the politics of conservation. He is keen to see the Friends adapt and evolve so they can continue to respond effectively to the developmental and environmental challenges that will face the Forest as the twenty-first century advances. Matt may be contacted at:

Our Vice Presidents

Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre

 Vice President - Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre

Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre

Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre comes from a family with a long history of involvement with New Forest. He practised as a barrister before joining the family business based in Bramshaw in the north of the Forest, where he lives and manages the family estate. He served as the Official Verderer and chairman of the Court for nine years until 2011 and is currently the Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, Vice Chairman of the New Forest Trust and a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire.

Peter Frost

Vice President - Peter Frost

Peter Frost

Peter Frost has been a tireless campaigner to protect the New Forest. He joined the Council of the New Forest Association as a ‘Waterside Upstart’ and went on to serve as an officer of the Asssociation for 17 years including being Chairman from 1991 to 2000. He is a former verderer of the New Forest, being appointed as the Amenity Verderer; and when the New Forest National Park Authority was formed he was appointed by the Secretary of State to be one of the first Members of that Authority.