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Monday, 9 July 2012

A one-stop shop for visitor information points

Visitors to the New Forest will now have access to even more expert local knowledge and information thanks to a successful initiative from the New Forest National Park Authority.

Four businesses have been successful in becoming Local Information Points; New Forest Activities in Beaulieu, Burley Post Office, Sway deli and coffee shop and the Village Shop at Woodgreen, bringing the total across the National Park to nine. Becoming a Local Information Point also benefits the businesses too as they receive increased footfall.

Left to right – Barbara Cunningham from Woodgreen Village Shop, Chris Swatridge, New Forest National Park Authority Ranger and Andrea Finn from Woodgreen Community Shop Association outside Woodgreen Village Shop and Local Information Point.
Local Information Points provide visitors and local people with easy access to National Park publications and information on how to enjoy the Forest whilst looking after it at the same time. Staff are specially trained to help answer any questions people have or to guide them to someone who will.

Chris Swatridge, National Park Ranger, said: ‘I’m looking forward to working closely with the people who manage the Local Information Points. They are a great source of information and it makes such a difference for visitors to chat to someone who knows about the local area.’

Sue Allpress, from Woodgreen Community Shop Association, said: ‘When we were planning the new shop the possibility of becoming a Local Information Point was included in our plans.  We felt that as a community shop we were in an ideal situation to work with the National Park Authority to promote the New Forest. We are very pleased to be chosen. Our staff and volunteers enjoyed their training and the map is proving very popular.’

Sam Sutton, Director of New Forest Activities, said: ‘New Forest Activities Centre can be found in the middle of Beaulieu High Street. Whilst browsing for information, you can also find out more about the activities that we provide on Beaulieu River. Come in and have a chat with our friendly and informative staff.’

Postmaster Roger Hutchings, said: ‘Burley Post Office has been run by my family for nearly 100 years. Being a post office people come in here looking for information, becoming a Local Information Point was just the next step. We have had so much positive feedback already from customers.’

Ken Wilson, owner of Sway deli and coffee shop, said: ‘We really enjoy being the Sway Local Information Point. The National Park Authority keeps us regularly topped up with information and we enjoy helping visitors.’

For more information on Local Information Points in the New Forest visit: http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/local-information-points

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