The Park has 11 family bbq hearths which can be hired for two-hour sessions through the day from 11.00am.  There are also 4 group bbq sites where groups for up to 120 people can enjoy their own private space for a whole day with a shelter and picnic tables. Additionally the visitor centre shop can provide charcoal, and organic meat and venison to order.

The group bbq sites are used for everything from corporate parties to wedding receptions. These large spaces allow people to bring in marquees, caterers and even entertainment.

For those wishing to do something on a much bigger scale the two largest bbq sites, called Cannonball and Coneyacres, can be joined together with the camping area to create an 8 acre space that will be used for many unusual events during 2013.

These include the South Downs Wood Fair in July and ButserFest, a teenage music festival in September. For more information about these or other events, or to book a bbq site on-line see the Parks web-site on

The Park’s ranger team has been spending time getting the group bbq sites ready for the Summer season. This has involved replacing some of the fencing and repairing picnic tables. In addition the events field needs to be chain harrowed, fertilized and when the grass finally starts growing, to be cut.

There are 4 full-time rangers and a part timer. Each day one will work as the duty ranger, with duties which include opening the Butser gates and toilets, cleaning and getting ready all the bbq sites and then dealing with whatever the days visitors may bring. All are well-trained with subjects as diverse as first aid or issuing fixed penalty tickets.


Visitors to the Park over the last two weekends will have noticed a small group of people involved in strange scenarios on the edge of the main car park. A first impression might have been that a major incident had taken place and the ambulance was on its way.

In fact a first aid course was being taught in the classroom and was using the forest for practical sessions. A company called Re+ction First Aid delivers training under the Rescue Emergency Care scheme (REC) which is designed specifically for outdoor  professionals and enthusiasts.

Designed for locations such as QECP where casualties may be waiting for the emergency services for extended periods, the courses were attended by members of Hampshire Search & Rescue and included mountain bike leaders and canoeing instructors.

The next available dates are on  the 4th/5th May and the 27th/28th July.

For more information and to book a place contact Steve on 07944 555587.

All the Park’s front of house staff including the rangers,  education officers and receptionists are first aid trained and the three 4WD vehicles all carry first aid kits. Over the course of a year, despite the total number of visitors exceeding 300,000, only about 30 entries are made in the first aid book.


Various different training providers use the facilities at QECP to put on sessions for the public. These can cover an amazing range of subjects from gilding to painting and chainsaw use.

This weekend a local trainer, Phil Quill, was taking a small enthusiastic group of cyclists through the MIAS Mountain Bike Leader course. The course aim was to promote safe enjoyment of all aspects of mountainbiking in an on or off road environment.

The MIAS sylabus (Mountain Bike Instructors Scheme) provides training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required by those who wish to lead groups in the UK.

More details of this and other courses offered by Phil go to his Hampshire Training web-site on

The next six months of events and activities, covering the period from the start of April through to the end of the Summer, is currently being put together by Park staff. This will be avaliable shortly in hard copy from the Visitor Centre of on the web-site at


The Park is used by many different organisations for training purposes. Often this simply involves using the classroom or theatre to deliver such diverse subjects as gilding or first aid.
This week a number of Hampshire County Council Rights of Way rangers have been learing about pole saws which are effectively chainsaws with long handles.These will used to cut back the County’s many miles of rights of way during the growing season.
For the technically minded the course was titled ‘CS48 Use of Powered Pole Pruners’ and the content involved risk assessments, personal protective equipment, safe working practices and pruning & cutting techniques.

The end result of the course after next Monday’s assessment will be a certificate from the National Proficiency Tests Council. Further details at

The Park is always happy to provide a venue for practical training courses and will often benefit from the targeted use of chain saws, stump grinders and the like.

The training in this instance was provided by Dale Valley Training based in Southampton. More information at

Classroom session

Classroom session

Many  individuals and businesses use the Park’s facilities for training purposes. Typically the classroom or theatre to top and tail a day spent out on site.

Last week three rangers from Portsmouth were being trained to drive a 4WD vehicle, and this week another group was taking a 1st Aid certificate.

The 1st Aid course was run under the Rescue Emergency Care scheme (REC) which is designed specifically for outdoor professionals and enthusiasts who participate in activities in out-of-the-way places.

The possibility that the emergency services may not be able to reach a casualty for extended periods of time is a key concern and the more people who are properly trained the better.

For further information about the 1st Aid and to book a course contact Steve on 07944 555587.

For information about driver training call Andy on 02380 571804.

For details on this and other activities taking place at the Park go to the web-site at