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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Celebrate local New Forest Marque produce this weekend

Delicious mouth-watering produce and traditional crafts will be on offer this weekend (31 March-1 April) as part of a special promotion of New Forest farm shops.

There are four farm shops in the New Forest National Park that are all part of the New Forest Marque, a unique scheme that ensures the produce is of the highest quality and local to the New Forest.

During the weekend the farm shops will be offering special promotions on New Forest Marque branded produce and craft as well as food tastings and demonstrations.

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘We are spoilt for choice in the New Forest. We have local food and produce of the highest quality and this weekend we want as many people as possible to visit their local farm shops.’

Farm shops stocking New Forest Marque branded produce this weekend:
Tatchbury Manor Farm Shop (Tatchbury Lane, Winsor, Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 2HA).

  • 11am and 2pm food demonstrations using Tatchbury Manor reared pork.
  • First 10 customers receive a free lemon tart and potato dauphinoise from Mange-To-Go.
  • Taster ice cream pots from Bere Dairy.
  • See lambs, chicken and geese.
  • Manor reared pigs, sheep and cattle is turned into pork, lamb and beef at its on-site butchery.

Setley Ridge Farm Shop (Lymington Rd, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, SO42 7UF).

  • Tasters of the Mange-To-Go range, Setley Ridge wine, Lyburn and Loosehanger cheeses, cakes, jams and chutneys.
  • Special offers on selected produce.
  • Has its own vineyard producing Setley Ridge wines – grown, produced and bottled on site.

Owls Barn Farm Shop (Derritt Lane, Sopley, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 7AZ).

  • Produces home-grown, free-range beef and lamb for its farm shop and sells
  • New Forest Marque vegetables.

Sunnyfields (Jacobs Gutter Lane, Totton, Southampton, Hampshire, SO40 9FX)

  • Grows its own organic vegetables and has its own butchery for New Forest Marque meat. Market every Saturday.

For more information about the New Forest Marque and where to buy visit www.newforestproduce.co.uk


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Launch of consultation for Village Design Statement

Views are being sought from local people about a plan to preserve the character of the Parish of Hyde near Fordingbridge.

The aim of the Hyde Village Design Statement is to ensure that the design of any new developments in the parish respects the distinctiveness of the area. The Design Statement was originally produced by a parish steering group of local people in 2007 and has now been updated. Once adopted, it will supplement the New Forest National Park Authority’s planning policies and will be taken into consideration in determining planning applications in the village.

Pat Wyeth, joint Lead Member for Local Distinctiveness at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Authority supports the work of the local community in Hyde in preparing their Village Design Statement and we are keen to adopt it as a Supplementary Planning Document following careful consideration of the responses.’

Leo Randall, fellow Lead Member for Local Distinctiveness at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Their draft Design Statement reflects how important keeping the area’s character is to the local community.’

Margaret Matthews, Clerk to Hyde Parish Council added: ‘The Village Design Statement provides a unifying set of goals and guidelines designed to retain and enhance the traditional character of the parish.

‘Although produced by the village, for the village, we are grateful to the New Forest National Park Authority who have been readily available for any help and assistance we have needed along the way.’

Starting today (19 March) there is a six week public consultation period for comments to be made on the draft Design Village Statement. Following the end of the consultation on 30 April, the local steering group and the New Forest National Park Authority will consider all the comments made before the final Design Statement is presented to the National Park Authority meeting in June 2012 to be formally adopted.

Once the Statement is adopted it will form part of the Local Development Framework for the National Park and will be a consideration in determining planning applications within Hyde.

The draft Hyde Village Design Statement can be viewed at the New Forest National Park Authority offices and Fordingbridge library. It can also be viewed online at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/consultations and at www.hyde-pc.gov.uk.

Please send comments to Policy Team, New Forest National Park Authority, Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington SO41 9ZG or emailed to policy@newforestnpa.gov.uk by 5pm Monday 30 April 2012.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Ringwood School ‘Marques’ Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Students from Ringwood School are hoping to ‘Cook for the Queen’ this summer and showcase delicious New Forest food.


Gill Hickman, Sustainability Co-ordinator and students from
Ringwood School showcasing New Forest Marque produce.

The ‘Cook for the Queen’ competition, organised by Love British Food, is an opportunity for schools to prepare a special Diamond Jubilee menu for Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace. Schools are asked to design a canapĂ© menu that celebrates local produce from where they live.

The winning menus will be served at a reception at Buckingham Palace attended by The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The New Forest Marque aims to help promote local produce and is the only audited scheme like it in the country, with nearly 130 members.

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘The New Forest is The Queen’s larder – as the Forestry Commission manages the Crown lands on her behalf. The New Forest has had a strong link with the monarchy since William the Conqueror declared it his royal hunting ground in 1079.

‘The Forest is famous for its venison, wild mushrooms and pannage pork*. We have great food on our doorstep that needs to be celebrated.

‘The school will also be working closely with the National Park Authority’s Education Team which will be teaching pupils about the history of New Forest food. This is an important part of the competition for students to understand where their food comes from.’

Gill Hickman, Sustainability Co-ordinator at Ringwood School, said: ‘The students have a passion for growing and cooking. This competition combines both local food and grow-your-own. I am looking forward to seeing what ideas the students will come up with.’

‘It is important to support local producers,’ said Aiden Chitty a sixth form Principal Student at Ringwood School who is part of the ‘Cook for the Queen’ team. ‘We should be proud of the food available in the New Forest. It is too easy to go to the supermarket and not pay attention to what we are buying.’

The students will work with teacher Sarah Stewart and will receive a helping hand from James Golding, Head Chef at The Pig in Brockenhurst. ‘I can’t wait to get involved in the project,’ said James. ‘The ‘Cook for the Queen’ team is going to come to The Pig with recipe ideas and I am going to bring them to life.’

The competition was launched at a special lunch at Ringwood School where students were treated to local New Forest Marque produce from Tatchbury Manor Farm, Lyburn Cheese, The Real Jam and Chutney Company, Spice ‘n’ Easy and Scotch eggs from The Mill at Gordleton. The closing date for entries is Monday 30 April and the winners will be announced in mid-May.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

‘Love Our Land’ campaign launches to discover what the UK loves about our countryside

Launching at the start of English Tourism Week, (10-17 March) ‘Love Our Land’ is a new campaign to inspire both residents and visitors to share what they love about a collection of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In the first ‘cultural mapping’ project of its kind, people are being encouraged to get involved by posting what they love on Facebook and Twitter - in words, pictures or film - to discover and celebrate the much-loved and distinctive features of the landscapes on our doorstep in order to help conserve and protect them for future generations. The project is being run by ‘Our-Land.co.uk’, a Government-funded rural development programme, including the New Forest National Park Authority.

Outdoor enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh is among the first to say in 140 characters what he loves: “The flora and fauna of the Surrey Hills make them a unique and valuable natural resource well worth treasuring.” The Love Our Land campaign is also supported by VisitEngland, Natural England, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, and VisitWoods (part of The Woodland Trust).

Kate Shepherd, Our Land’s Manager, said: “This is the first time the UK conservation movement has ever asked the general public – visitors and tourists - about their perceptions, associations and memories of the landscape. Social media is the perfect way to crowd source this information and remind people of the incredible places to visit and love on our doorstep. So many of us have lived in or visited the UK’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Love Our Land campaign needs you!

“Research shows that people who visit the natural environment are more likely to protect it. Our Land’s aim is to inspire people to re-discover the ‘Protected Landscapes’ and boost the vital revenue generated through tourism, whilst ensuring the long-term protection of the areas.”

James Berresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland, commented: “English Tourism Week shines a light on the quality and diversity of our visitor experiences, so we’re thrilled that the “Love Our Land” campaign is launching in tandem. By asking people to nominate what they enjoy most about the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Our Land will create a fantastic tourism tool and we fully support anything that proactively encourages more visitors to get out and about and enjoy our country.”

From Friday 9 March people can tell us what they love about our land on the Our Land Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ourlanduk, or on Twitter using the hashtag #loveourland (@ourlanduk). There will be a monthly poll for Facebook page entries and an annual competition, judged by a panel of experts with prizes for entrants who best encapsulate ‘Love Our Land’. Prizes include holidays to the UK’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Our Land www.our-land.co.uk is funded for three years with nearly £1million from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), and is run in partnership with leading marketer of responsible tourism: www.responsibletravel.com. It currently includes two of England’s National Parks (New Forest, South Downs) and seven Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Chilterns, Cotswolds, High Weald, Isle of Wight, Kent Downs, North Wessex Downs, Surrey Hills).


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Defra announces next stage of National Park Governance Review

The Government has announced its next stage of a review of governance arrangements for English National Parks in order to increase local accountability.

The initial public consultation closed on 1 February 2011. The outcome was a wide range of improvements in the way that National Park authorities (NPAs) operate.

In particular, there are five areas of development requiring changes to primary legislation which the Government proposes to make by use of an Order-making power in the Public Bodies Act 2011.

The Government invites people to send in their views on the following proposed changes to primary legislation through use of a Public Bodies Act Order. The proposed changes are to:

  • Make it possible for National Park authorities to include some directly elected members
  • Remove the need for the Secretary of State to appoint the parish members
  • Relax the political balance requirement on local authorities when appointing their members to a National Park Authority
  • Make it possible to allow parishes in subsequently specified National Parks to choose non-councillors for their seats
  • Apply a maximum length of service of 8 years.

The full consultation paper is available to view at www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2012/03/08/national-park-governance-1203/.

All responses, including those which propose an alternative to the Government’s preferred option, will be given due consideration. When sending in a response, people are asked to provide their full name and appropriate contact details, including whether the response is on behalf of an organisation.

Please send replies no later than 31 May 2012 by email to: governance.consultation@defra.gov.uk or alternatively by post to: Governance Consultation, Customer Contact Unit, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Fair helps recruit new volunteers

Over 370 people came to find out how they could make a difference in the New Forest at the second annual volunteer.

Left to right – Dr Julian Lewis MP New Forest East, Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest Park Authority, John Charlesworth, Manager of Lyndhurst Community Centre and Julian Johnson, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority with scouts from the New Forest making bird feeders.

Around 30 organisations held stalls, demonstrations and talks at the event organised by the New Forest National Park Authority at Lyndhurst Community Centre on Saturday (3 March).

Groups ranging from the Forestry Commission to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the New Forest Centre 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.

Julian Johnson, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We were delighted at the increased turnout to last year 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.’

Dr Julian Lewis MP for New Forest East who opened the Volunteer Fair said: ‘This was a hugely successful event, enabling a large number of people to make contact with more than 30 organisations that offered a remarkable range of activities in which to participate. No-one need ever be short of something worthwhile to do as a volunteer in the New Forest.’


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Inspired National Park gifts on sale

New Forest Wow mug under £10

There is now 25 per cent off bespoke gifts from the Forest Store this spring. So if you are looking for quirky gifts inspired by the New Forest National Park such as a toy stress mushroom; a poncho that doubles as a groundsheet; an organic t-shirt; or a photo mug that reveals Forest scenery when you put hot water in it, visit the Forest Store area of the New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst.

The Forest Store is part of the New Forest National Park Authority’s work to help generate income to look after the landscape, wildlife and culture that makes the New Forest so special.

Jon Pemberton, Member of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘I hope that the Forest Store will appeal to visitors and people who live and work here whether they are looking for memories to take home, gifts for friends, or a treat for themselves.

‘Every penny of profit from purchases will go back into the National Park Authority’s work which includes support for commoning, helping to prevent animal accidents and safeguarding the landscape that we all enjoy.
‘Each time you shop at the Forest Store you will be helping to look after the National Park too.’

Visit the on-line Forest Store at www.foreststore.co.uk


Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Forest volunteering can be the key to employment

People who are looking to gain more experience in areas they are passionate about should come to the second annual Volunteer Fair at the New Forest Community Centre.

This free event will have over 30 organisations with potential volunteering opportunities that may help people gain future employment.

Claire Shepherd, who works for CABI (Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International) in Oxfordshire, started volunteering in the New Forest in 2010. She said: ‘I was studying biology at university but I wanted to get some hands-on, practical experience. I worked with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust as a summer volunteer on a project monitoring invasive plants across the New Forest for four months.

‘In the current economic climate getting a job can be difficult, but volunteering meant I had real examples I could draw on to demonstrate skills to potential employers. Working with other volunteers, communicating with staff and the ability to present data clearly have all been important skills to learn. The project allowed me to work independently which was great for building my confidence and proving that I could work under my own initiative.

‘Volunteering is also a great way of getting really involved in the work of an organisation, and it has really helped me to focus on how I could develop my future career too.’

Jim Mitchell, the New Forest National Park’s Interpretation Officer, said: ‘Volunteering can really make the difference in securing that job you really want. The Volunteer Fair offers a wealth of opportunities to get new skills and experience that will help you stand out when applying for employment in a difficult jobs market.’

Organisations signed up to attend the Fair include the Forestry Commission, which is looking for new volunteer rangers; the National Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust; Friends of New Forest Airfields; Sir Harold Hillier Gardens; New Forest Transition; the New Forest Centre; Hampshire Conservation Volunteers; Hampshire Scouts and many more.

The New Forest National Park Authority will also be promoting its new project - 'New Forest remembers: untold stories of World War II'. Volunteers are needed to help record the stories of those who were in the New Forest, either living, stationed or evacuated, during World War II.

The Volunteer Fair will be held on Saturday 3 March from 10:30am - 4pm at Lyndhurst Community Centre. For more information visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/volunteer-fair.