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Monday, 23 July 2012

NFNPA - Our Land Environment Promise

Tourism businesses who have made a commitment to protecting the New Forest attended a training day organised by the NFNPA (New Forest National Park Authority).

Those who have signed up to ‘Our Land’ an interactive website have made a ‘promise’ to care for and promote the landscape, environment and community and to ensure their customers do the same.

Their day started with a journey on the New Forest Tour’s new red route visiting Burley, Ringwood, Fordingbridge and Ashurst. Whilst on board they listened to commentary about the culture and history of the area through a new GPS activated audio and learnt more about how important the Tour is to the local economy and reducing traffic on New Forest roads.

Businesses then visited the New Forest Cider Press tea rooms to learn about local New Forest Marque food and listened to a talk by Barry Topp, from New Forest Cider.

Paul McDaid, Our Land Project Officer, said: ‘The aim of Our Land is to develop memorable experiences for visitors which are linked to the special qualities of the National Park – protecting the landscape and benefiting the economy.

‘There will be a series of training days for Our Land members to encourage greater shared knowledge, promotion and understanding of the New Forest National Park. This in turn will benefit their customers who book accommodation with Our Land providers.’

Christine Bennett, member of Our Land and owner of Burgate Farmhouse near Fordingbridge, said: ‘It was a really great way of finding out more about the New Forest Tour and meet fellow businesses that have embraced the Our Land project.  We also picked up menus from the brilliant Cider Press tea rooms that we can give to our guests.  All in all the day was a huge success and we are looking forward to meeting the Our Land members again soon.’

The scheme is backed by nearly £1 million of Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) funding and is being rolled out in nine protected landscapes in the South East of England.

Tourism business can join the site for free and benefit from marketing at a national scale. If you are interested in joining visit www.ourland.co.uk or email ourland@newforestnpa.gov.uk.

The New Forest Tour is running until the 16 September. A range of flexible ticket options is available including a two-day ticket valid on both routes (adults £14), and group tickets for up to five people of £28 a day visit www.thenewforesttour.info

NFNPA - Our Land: There are currently 50 businesses signed up to Our Land in the New Forest.

Further reading: New Forest Hampshire UK

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