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Thursday, 31 March 2011

MedicsontheMove - Surge In Demand For Rental Properties In Hampshire

Demand for rental properties is growing and the overall supply of new properties is decreasing.*  Difficulties in securing a mortgage means that landlords are unable to extend their property portfolios and thwarted first-time buyers remain renting with many holding out until house prices fall.  This increased demand is pushing up rental prices, with rent rises highest in the South East.**

This opens up opportunities for property owners in Hampshire.  Those with a second property can start making money on their homes.  Yet, for those of us with a day job other than property ownership; the responsibility of collecting rent, finding suitable tenants, being on call for maintenance issues - can be a huge deterrent.

Lynne Dadley - Medics on the Move
Lynne Dadley, from award-winning ‘Medics on the Move’, the property management service for busy professionals in Hampshire says:  “there are so many benefits to renting out an empty property but also a number of pitfalls and legal responsibilities which need covering off.   Finding a good local property management agent takes away the stress of marketing the property, finding and interviewing good tenants, securing deposits, checking the property and making sure rent is received promptly.  It saves the property owner a significant amount of time and worry.”

Medics on the Move – winner of the ‘Regional Letting Agents of the Year 2010’ - provides an insightful and intuitive service, matching the property with the tenant.  It hosts an exclusive collection of properties, allowing the time to look after each property properly.  Amongst  a myriad of tasks,  landlords can hand over the responsibility of selecting, interviewing , referencing and arranging tenancy agreements; transferring utility payments to the tenants; dealing with day-to-day enquiries, instructing contractors and taking care of routine maintenance.

In addition to rental and property management, the company also provides an in-depth and personal relocation and home search.  ‘Medics on the Move’ is a professional company working for all busy professionals.  The complete service ensures that ‘finding the right home’ includes not only fantastic properties but the proximity of good schools, transport and amenities, as required!

Visit www.medicsonthemove.co.uk or call 0844 335 6955 for further guidance or follow @MedicsOnMove on Twitter.

*propertywire.com, 2010 **BBC News

New Forest’s finest food and drink on show

Over 80 people representing pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, holiday parks and museums attended the first New Forest Marque Trade Fair to see the best food, drink and products from the area.

New Forest produce stalls on show at the first New Forest Marque Trade Fair
held at the Beaulieu Road Hotel.
The Trade Fair at the Beaulieu Road Hotel on Monday (28 March) featured 21 stalls with everything from delicious chocolates to wine, ice cream, shellfish, jams and mohair products.

All the businesses showing their wares are members of the New Forest Marque scheme which proves that the produce is grown, reared, caught or brewed in the New Forest to high welfare and quality standards.

The scheme, which is supported by the New Forest National Park Authority, has been in existence for seven years and has 130 members.

Marque scheme Manager Sarah Richards said: ‘This is the first time we have held a trade fair to show to outlets the real range and quality of products available from the New Forest.

‘We hope that by putting the producers and the outlets in touch in this way, they will create some great business opportunities.’

To find out more about the New Forest Marque scheme, visit www.newforestproduce.co.uk


Sunday, 27 March 2011

IKEA and Sandy Balls Holiday Centre support New Forest National Park’s Greener Living Show

The New Forest National Park is teaming up with IKEA and Sandy Balls Holiday Centre to help people take small steps to care for the environment.

The second Greener Living Show will be held at the holiday centre near Fordingbridge on Sunday 8 May.

The fun family event will feature the IKEA sustainability roadshow, local food and crafts, children’s activities, a chance to learn about the latest renewable technologies, plus a wide range of stalls and demonstrations.

BBC Radio Solent will be broadcasting from the event on the day, with Gardeners’ Question Time coming from the Show.

Entry is free to the event, which runs from 10am to 4pm.

Claire Gingell, the New Forest National Park’s interim head of sustainable development, said visitors to the Show can find out how they could save money and improve their health at the same time as helping the environment.

She said: ‘Last year over 800 people attended the Show and we’re hoping that with a new venue at Sandy Balls this year’s event will be bigger and better.

‘Taking small steps such as recycling, driving more fuel efficiently, insulating your home and buying local food is not only good for the New Forest and the wider environment but is also kind to your bank balance. The National Park Authority supports eco businesses and organisations and it’s great to be able to bring them together at a fun event to show people what is available.’

Mark Sokol, IKEA Southampton’s Community and Sustainability Specialist will be on hand to help people live a more sustainable life at home.

He said: ‘Sustainability is an integrated part of the IKEA business and there is the potential for IKEA to provide solutions which enable our customers to live a more sustainable life at home. We call these our Never Ending List products as continuous improvement in sustainability is a never ending job.

‘Hopefully visitors will gain lots of information and advice about buying and using products that are more environmentally friendly, support social initiatives or help in the quest for greener living.’

Brett Turner, Operations Director at Sandy Balls, said: ‘We at Sandy Balls are very pleased to have been chosen by the New Forest National Park as this year’s venue for the Greener Living Show.

‘Sustainability and the effect we have on our surroundings as a destination has always been at the forefront of our minds when developing the Park and for this in 2010 we achieved our 15th Gold David Bellamy Award.

‘The opportunity to show off our achievements and to be part of such a fantastic team representing such a good cause is an honor for Sandy Balls.’

If your business or organisation has green credentials and you would like to discuss the possibility of exhibiting at the show, please email greenerlivingshow@newforestnpa.gov.uk

Recommended Reading: Eco-Friendly Families: Guide Your Family to Greener Living with Activities That Engage and Inspire...from Toddlers to Teens


Friday, 25 March 2011

Adoption of the Landford and Wellow Village Design Statements

Members of the New Forest National Park Authority today formally adopted Village Design Statements for the parishes of Landford and Wellow.

The Village Design Statements were adopted as Supplementary Planning Documents, to provide design guidance for the parts of Landford and Wellow that lie within the New Forest National Park.

The Statements have been prepared by steering groups from the local communities, who are both keen to ensure that the design of any new development in the parishes respects the distinctive local character of the areas.

Both Village Design Statements went out to public consultation where local residents had the opportunity to comment before the Statements were considered by Members at the National Park Authority.

The Village Design Statements now form part of the Local Development Framework, to provide more detailed design guidance for the parishes, and to supplement the planning policies of the National Park Authority.

Steve Avery, Director of Strategy and Planning, said: ‘The local communities in Landford and Wellow have worked hard in preparing their draft Village Design Statements. Their Design Statements reflect how important keeping the area’s character is to the local community.’

For more information about Village Design Statements visit http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/village_design_statement


Friday, 18 March 2011

Europe’s largest Habitat Stewardship Scheme celebrates landmark first year

A  partnership scheme to improve the New Forest’s unique landscape and bolster the ancient commoning way of life celebrates a landmark first year.

The Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS) – worth £16m of European money over 10 years – is managed by a partnership of the Verderers, the Forestry Commission and the New Forest National Park Authority.

(Left to right): HLS scheme partners Mike Seddon (Forestry Commission Deputy Surveyor),
Alison Barnes (New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive),
and Official Verderer Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre hand over the keys of the new Agisters’
landrovers to the Head Agister Jonathan Gerrelli.
Some of the successes to date include:

  • payments to encourage Commoners to continue to turn their ponies, cattle, donkeys and pigs out on the Forest, as the practice is not financially viable but is critical to sustain the ecology and landscape
  • large scale projects to restore and improve wetland habitats across the New Forest
  • upgrading the Beaulieu Road Sale Yard where Commoners sell their animals. This has involved a challenging project to install a mains water pipeline across a highly-sensitive and publicly-accessible conservation area
  • part-funding an independent Land Advice Service to provide land management advice and help Commoners secure grants and support to care for their land for the benefit of the environment
  • a major programme of replacing gates across the Forest with a more sympathetic and user-friendly design to improve access for those with disabilities
  • a project to address the need for retaining important blood lines which would otherwise be lost from the existing stock of New Forest ponies, threatening the future of the breed
  • new Landrovers and stock trailers for the Agisters, who look after the day-to-day welfare of the Commoners’ stock on the open Forest
  • support for the New Forest stallion scheme which ensures that only the best stallions are turned out on the Forest
  • a comprehensive census of Commoners to help define the future direction of support for Commoning using HLS funds
  • projects to help protect the archaeological features of the Forest, and which help educate the public and visitors

Official Verderer Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre said: ‘The HLS is actively funding an enormous amount of activity across the Forest which it is hoped will both support the long-term viability of the commoning system and restore and enhance the landscape.  We hope that after nine more years of this level of spending and activity the legacy of the HLS will be plain for all to see.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘The HLS scheme is a fantastic example of the Forest working in partnership. I’m excited to see the great strides forward we have made in our first year and the possibilities over the whole 10 years of the scheme are enormous. I look forward to many more local people and local organisations joining with us to develop and deliver projects to make a real difference to the Forest.’

Forestry Commission Deputy Surveyor Mike Seddon said: ‘At the present time of financial challenges, the HLS scheme is coming into its own. It is not only funding some very important works, but also showing that Forest organisations can find new ways of working together. The scheme is enabling the aspirations of Forest communities to be met on the ground.’

Recommended Reading: The Environmental Stewardship Scheme


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

New recruits welcomed at first Volunteer Fair

Over 300 people found out about how they could make a real difference in the New Forest at the first New Forest Volunteer Fair.

Around 30 organisations held stalls and demonstrations at the event organised by the New Forest National Park Authority at Lyndhurst Community Centre on Saturday (5 March).

Kirsty Watts, of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance explains volunteering
opportunities to visitor Marian Elliott, from Eling, at the New Forest Volunteer Fair.

Groups ranging from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, to the New Forest Association, Furzey Gardens and Scouting turned out to show how volunteers can get involved in their work.

People came from around the New Forest and from towns further afield such as Southampton, Romsey and Salisbury, with many saying they wanted to try new skills, meet new people, improve their fitness and give something back to the community.

Organiser Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer at the National Park, said: ‘We were delighted at the turnout and the enthusiasm of people to get involved. As well as attracting more volunteers, the groups told us it was a great way to network with like-minded organisations and they really welcomed the chance to showcase their work.’