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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Hovertravel launches Boutique Hovershopper

Hovertravel, the fastest passenger service across the Solent to the Isle of Wight, has launched a Boutique Hovershopper deal so that customers can enjoy a fabulous day-trip out shopping, pampering and experiencing some fun activities on the island.

Boutique Hovershopper tickets gives passengers return travel on the Hovercraft from Southsea, Portsmouth to Ryde, Isle of Wight and special discounts when presented at partner boutiques, restaurants, salons, florists and workshops.

Loretta Lale, marketing manager for Hovertravel said: “Our Boutique Hovershopper deal is a fantastic way to spend a day on the Isle of Wight. With Christmas fast approaching and our partner discounts with companies which are unique to the island, customers can find unusual trinkets and gifts that can’t be found on the mainland.”

Boutique Hovershopper has discounts at a number of boutiques including, Zabre - a handbag and accessory specialist, Smiths & Stephensons - a homeware boutique, Bijoux Jewellers, and Flowers By Nic. If all that shopping makes travellers hungry the Boutique Hovershopper ticket has discounts with Bagel Wrap, Joe’s CafĂ© Bar & Restaurant and Yelf’s Hotel.

Loretta Lale, continued, “The festive season is all about being glam and with our Boutique Hovershopper ticket customers can also have their hair and beauty taken care of with amazing discounts. To receive Hovertravel’s fantastic savings and freebies all customers have to do is present their Boutique Hovershopper day return ticket to any of our partners.”

Boutique Hovershopper also gives savings with Jaks Hair & Beauty Ltd and lifestyle workshops at Crocus including photography, floristry, crochet sewing and knitting.

Tickets for Boutique Hovershopper cost just £15 and are available from the Southsea Terminal.

For more information visit www.hovertravel.com


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Green award for local Brockenhurst business

A New Forest bed and breakfast has scooped a top accolade at this year’s ‘Brilliance in Business Awards’ for its commitment to being green.
Left to right: Vicky Myers, Deputy Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, Christina Simons owner of Cottage Lodge, Katy Mascord from Cottage Lodge and New Forest Business Partnership President The Hon Ralph Montagu.

Cottage Lodge in Brockenhurst won the ‘Green Leaf’ Sustainable Business Award sponsored by the New Forest National Park Authority for its innovative approach to sustainability.

As part of their everyday commitment to reduce energy all rooms have low-energy light bulbs, water meters and low tap flow.

A number of new rooms have solar panels, a wood burning stove and a water boiler. From January 2012 there will also be bike-powered televisions.

Guests are also encouraged to do their bit during their stay. Those who arrive by train receive a free afternoon tea and Cottage Lodge provides walks packs and local information on where to eat. Breakfast is made up of local New Forest Marque produce and furniture is made by local craftsmen.

Winners of this year’s Brilliance in Business awards were announced at Careys Manor Hotel in Brockenhurst on 23 November. The awards were presented by the New Forest Business Partnership President The Hon Ralph Montagu.

Christina Simons, owner of Cottage Lodge, said: ‘We are delighted to be winners of the Brilliance in Business Green Leaf award. It is a great reward for the team to be recognised in such a prestigious way for all their efforts in reducing their impact on the environment.

John Pemberton, Lead Member for sustainable energy at the New Forest National Park, said: ‘The Green Leaf Scheme is part of a national pilot scheme for sustainable tourism in the UK. We are pleased to support an award that encourages car-free tourism, energy and recycling initiatives and supports local producers and farmers.

‘Cottage Lodge has shown a strong commitment to sustainable tourism and I’m pleased they have won this award.’

New Forest Business Partnership Chairman, Rob Dewing said: ‘This year has seen the highest standard of entries since the award scheme begun. We are delighted that despite the difficult trading conditions, many businesses in the New Forest are not only surviving but thriving; a point demonstrated by the truly excellent calibre of businesses selected as our category winners.’

For more information about Cottage Lodge visit www.cottagehotel.org.


Saturday, 26 November 2011

LymingtonDeals a win win for New Forest residents and businesses

We all want a great deal and getting 70% plus offers are a fantastic opportunity, not only for you but also in our case for local businesses. This was the basic reason why LymingtonDeals.com was set up.

There are many social marketing groups, which are virtually all formed by big often foreign groups with massive infrastructure and huge marketing and technical overheads – all of which someone eventually has to pay for and it is usually the customer – you.

So we felt there had to be a better way and came up with the answer of Lymington Deals where people local to Lymington – obviously including the area covered by The New Forest and Lymington Blog, could get bargains with local enterprises.

In the few months since we started we have gained members at a very rapid pace and have had some great deals provided by local businesses. So far they have helped both members and companies – these have included hair styling, financial advice, wine, hotel accommodation, organically grown produce even completely free coffee.

Lymington Deals has been very pleased that Steve Lodge has recognized our value both for customers and businesses and invited us to be part of his great community. We look forward to keeping all of you up to date with our fantastic offers via this blog but if you really want to be first with the information to get great deals then you should join us via out website or face book entry by clicking here.

We want the people who love our area to share in the great opportunities which Lymington Deals offers both its members and the rapidly growing number of local enterprises who have realised great deals are excellent for business.

See you at LymingtonDeals.com
Nathan Ferry Local Resident & Founder


Thursday, 24 November 2011

National Tree Week - Join in an ancient tree hunt

Help survey some of the most fantastic woodland in Britain to celebrate National Tree Week (26 November to 4 December).

On Saturday 3 December the New Forest National Park team will be exploring Denny Wood near Lyndhurst as part of an ancient tree survey to find the oldest and largest trees in the New Forest.

An ancient tree hunt leader will take small groups around the wood exploring the ancient and ornamental woodland.

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Some of the oak and beech trees in Denny Wood are over 400 years old. They support an established woodland ecosystem.

‘As well as surveying the area the group leaders will talk about the history of the woodland and what makes it unique and special.’

The National Park Authority’s tree expert Bryan Wilson will also be at the event to answer any tree-related questions.

There are two sessions, 9.30am to midday and 1pm to 3.30pm. The event is free but booking is essential as places are limited. The event is suitable for children eight years and over.

To book your place email events@newforestnpa.gov.uk or call 01590 646681.
For more information about the event visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/ancient-tree-hunt.


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Southampton Offers Stunning Waterside Activities

There are some cities which don’t make the most of their geographical positions, but this accusation certainly can’t be directed at Southampton. In recent years, major investment has gone into providing the facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful views across the River Itchen, and to savour the finer things in life from a waterside location.
Southampton Ocean Village
Many British towns and city planners, including those in Cardiff, Salford and Newcastle, have come to realise the potential of their river and ocean-side locations, in the past decades. Major refurbishment works have resulted in some highly impressive developments that have transformed the areas into havens for shopping, dining and drinking, and all with some stunning backdrops.

Southampton’s long association with the water is well documented, and it’s good to know the city’s authorities are keen to entice people into the riverside area. All over the UK, there is a growing realisation that everyone should be entitled to enjoy a stroll beside the water, and that it should not be just the privileged few who get to see the many superb views.

One of life’s genuine pleasures is to enjoy a delicious meal in a vibrant, exciting location, and that is certainly possible in Southampton’s Ocean Village. On a summer’s afternoon, there’s nothing more pleasant than savouring top quality cuisine outside, as the warm breeze floats in off the water. It comes as no surprise to discover this area becomes understandably busy during weekends in July and August.

The area is also home to two cinemas and a number of bars, too. One of Britain’s oldest yachting establishments, the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, is based in the marina, and its presence gives the area a pleasing link to its former years. In addition, there are several nautical-related businesses nearby, offering staff members an extremely pleasant place in which to work.

Guest Post by David Rice, a UK-based writer who works for a company that specialises in finding office space in Southampton. He feels the excellent deals that are currently available on offices to let in Southampton help to make it a superb city to relocate to.


Friday, 4 November 2011

New Forest National Park Authority moves to new home

The New Forest National Park Authority says its move this week to new headquarters at Lymington Town Hall will save money and improve accessibility for residents and visitors.

The National Park Authority has been in temporary accommodation at South Efford House, Everton, since it began in 2006 and the lease expires next month.

By renting part of the building at the Avenue Road site from New Forest District Council (NFDC), the Authority says there will be significant advantages and financial savings from the joint arrangement.

National Park Chairman Julian Johnson said: ‘With good transport links to Lymington Town Hall our services will be much more accessible to our visitors and residents.

‘By co-locating at the Town Hall there are efficiencies to be made both in terms of accommodation costs and opportunities for shared services – delivering further savings for the benefit of local taxpayers.’

Cllr Barry Rickman, Leader of New Forest District Council: ‘We’re looking forward to sharing office accommodation with the National Park Authority and the significant advantages and financial savings that will be made from this joint arrangement.’

The NPA received a central government grant of £750,000 to refurbish the building.


Thursday, 3 November 2011

New Forest Ponies don’t dent they die

Drivers along the B3054 (between Lymington and Dibden Purlieu) are being reminded to drive carefully and avoid New Forest ponies thanks to a school boy’s winning slogan.

Oliver Smith’s ‘Ponies don’t dent they die’ was chosen from 200 entrants to a recent ‘Saving ponies through art’ competition which aimed to get young people involved in creating clear messages to drivers across the New Forest.

From left to right- Nigel Matthews, Community and Visitor Services Manager  at the New Forest National Park Authority, Oliver Smith from Bournemouth Collegiate School, Jonathan Gerelli, Head Agister and Rick Manley, Chairman of The New Forest Trust
Nigel Matthews, Community and Visitor Services Manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The signs between Lymington and Dibden Purlieu are part of a pilot scheme. The messages on the bottom of the signs change regularly depending on the time of year.

‘The B3054 has one of the highest animal accident rates in the New Forest, with an average of 30 accidents (14 animal deaths) in recent years. The accidents often take place at night and increase in November and December as the nights draw in. I hope this new sign will remind drivers that they need to be ready to stop when they see ponies and cattle beside, or on the road.’

Rick Manley, Chairman of The New Forest Trust which ran the competition on behalf of the Animal Accident Reduction Group*, said: ‘This competition has helped young people to engage with some of our work across the New Forest and we hope it has allowed them to explore, through their designs, ways of protecting our animals and our local environment. Well done to Oliver for coming up with such a powerful slogan.’

Oliver Smith (13 years old) from Bournemouth Collegiate School who designed the winning slogan, said: ‘I came up with the slogan when I thought about what happens to ponies and drivers during a crash. When I went to the New Forest Show in the summer I was shocked at how fast some people were driving with ponies so close by. It is worrying to think that if a pony attempted to cross the road it would have little chance of survival if it was hit by a speeding car.’

In 2010 there were 65 animal deaths on New Forest roads, the lowest since records began in 1956.


Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Help your business and the New Forest

If you love talking about the New Forest and own a shop, post office or business in Burley, Sway, Ashurst or Woodgreen the New Forest National Park Authority would like to hear from you.

The Authority is looking to recruit four new ‘Local Information Points’ in these areas. The points provide visitors and residents with easy access to information about the National Park and are stocked with maps, leaflets and publications about what to see and where to go.

Business owners who are successful in hosting a Local Information Point will receive training, support and an annual contribution of £300 from the Authority, as well as being advertised in a range of publications and websites as an information point.

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer, said: ‘The Local Information Point scheme has proved to be extremely successful since starting in 2008. The scheme is about recognising and supporting the great work that local businesses play in championing the New Forest and what makes it special.’

Jane Dalton from Bestsellers Bookshop in Brockenhurst, a Local Information Point since 2008, said: ‘Visitors enjoy having a focal point at the start of their visit. We enjoy welcoming both visitors and locals and our knowledge of the Forest has increased tenfold since becoming a Local Information Point.’

For more information on Local Information Points and how to apply visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/visiting/local-information-points or contact Jim Mitchell at jim.mitchell@newforestnpa.gov.uk, or 01590 646681.