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Sunday, 24 February 2013

LYNDHURST New Forest - March 1913 - Year before the Great War

Lyndhurst High Street 1912
Photo: Past and Present Publications
by Neil Hotson

It was the year before the Great War, March 1913, and Lyndhurst High Street was a busy and successful place with many public houses and shops. A police constable was stationed in the street day and night but residents still despaired at motor vehicles exceeding 20 mph. An aeroplane, however, would cause great excitement amongst children and adults. This event was sometimes reported in the local newspaper, together with a guess as to its destination.

The recently built Fenwick Cottage Hospital wasn't far from butcher Horace Butt, who lay badly injured in Gosport Lane, thrown from his horse and trap. His journey to the hospital would take him past the damaged church spire with steeplejack ladders leading to a clock stopped at 3.15 and a weather vane split in two.

The previous night a great thunderstorm from the south-west had passed over the village,its timing now recorded for the weary villagers to see.

At her bedroom lodgings in Pound Terrace, Charlotte Nutbeam had also tried to sleep through the storm. Her new job as a cook at the Stag Hotel was to end days later, when she took cutlery. The Stag Hotel was owned by Ashby's Eling Brewery of Totton and Mrs. Ashby was a regular visitor to the Fenwick Hospital.

Beer was well liked in Lyndhurst, with many a carter asleep with drink as their horse took them home. It was a dangerous journey for some as the fields and ditches were often flooded and a drunken man falling into cold water might perish.

People enjoyed themselves, their lives soon to be turned upside down.

Please do share this excellent historical account of Lyndhurst with your Facebook Friends

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The New Forest by Matthew Conway
Featuring a mixture of history, folklore and stories of interest, this book explores the culture and wildlife of the New Forest. From it deer, which for centuries were hunted exclusively by the Kings of England, to the thousands of trees that were the cornerstone of the English Navy, this fascinating volume illustrates how flora and fauna are interwoven with the forest's heritage, and pays special attention to its wildlife.  As well as providing a backdrop of history, this affectionate look at the forest will inspire readers to explore the area themselves. Read more...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Glide around the New Forest in a Twizzy electric car!

twizzy electric carCottage Lodge, the New Forest’s only 5-star eco B&B, has taken delivery of the first Twizzy, an eye-catching electric car which not only has no carbon footprint, it doesn’t frighten the forest’s ponies and is great fun to drive!
To celebrate the arrival of the Twizzy, Cottage Lodge has put together a special four-nights-for-the-price-of three break, which also includes an hour’s free hire of the Twizzy.  The car goes up to 50 miles per hour (though the maximum in the New Forest is 40) and can go 50 miles on one charge – plenty to visit the forest’s many cosy pubs, restaurants and attractions.
Read full article at: Glide around the New Forest in a Twizzy electric car!

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Sunday, 17 February 2013

How to identify species of Snakes of the New Forest UK

uk snake species
There are only three species of snake native to the UK and can be found in the New Forest. They are the Adder (European Viper), Grass snake and Smooth snake.

The Adder


The Adder is a member of the Viper family, a family that includes some highly venomous snakes - eg: Puff Adder, Rattlesnakes and Cottonmouth.

The Adder is also venomous and bites many people each year in the UK (usually people who tread on them or inexperienced people who try to catch or kill them!).

Although most bites are not fatal, they are very painful. It is very important to seek medical treatment if bitten, particularly if the victim is faily young or faily old.

Adders are usually found in areas of heathland or woodland where they can be seen basking in the sun.

Femailes are generally brown with darker brown markings, while males are usually grey/white with much darker markings. The best way to identify an adder is by its distinctive zig-zag pattern. It is the only snake in the UK to have this pattern!

No matter what colour it is, Adders are sometimes very dark in colour, almost completely black. These are called "melanistic" individuals.

If you find an Adder, move slowly so as not to scare it and spend some time observing it. Don't panic and certainly don't try to catch or hurt it!

The Grass Snake


The Grass Snake is part of the colubrid family which includes the majority of the worlds harmless snakes, eg: Corn Snake, Rat Snakes, Garter Snakes and King Snakes.

It is generally an olive green colour with black bars along the side body, not meeting along the spine. It also has a distinct yellow "collar".

The Grass Snake is completely harmless, killing it's prey (mainly frogs, toads and fish) by constriction.

Because of its diet, it is usually found near water, including garden ponds and is a very good swimmer.

If a Grass Snake feels threatened it may turn on its back with its mouth open and tongue hanging out. It's pretendint to be dead so that you won't try to kill it!

The Grass Snake is the only British snake to lay eggs - quite often in compost heaps which keeps them warm.

The Smooth Snake


The Smooth Snake is also a member of the colubrid family, like the Grass Snake and is also completely harmless.

It gets its name because it is the only British snake which has smooth scales. Adders and Grass Snakes have "keeled" scales.

These snakes are very rare in the UK and only found in a few areas of heathland in the south of the country - so you are very lucky if you see one!

They are generally brown or grey in colour with a dark patch on the head and rows of spots running down the body.

If you are lucky enough to find a Smooth Snake, you should not touch or disturb it. They are protected by law!

Snakes of the UK Video


The text of this post was compiled from the following video "Identifying snakes in the UK" by robbielab videos on Youtube. It is a truly excellent visual guide - you'll love it!

Snakes Quiz

There is another creature in the New Forest that looks like a snake but is actually a lizzard. Name that creature? Clue: Watch the video for the answer.

The Great British Year: Wildlife through the Seasons
Britain is a place of remarkable beauty and extraordinary extremes, boasting immense natural diversity in a comparatively small area. Here, life is run by the seasons: each month brings enormous transformations to our island and its inhabitants, from the largest native mammal to the smallest migrant bird.
Download now on Kindle or Mobile Apps.





Saturday, 9 February 2013

New Forest Community Wildlife - Volunteers wanted to help improve woods and rivers

If you love wildlife and volunteering, put Sunday 24 February and Monday 11 March in your diary.

The New Forest Community Wildlife Plans project team has joined up with the Long Meadow community group and New Milton Town Council on 24 February to help clear pathways in a wooded area at Barton on Sea.

Bee on Flower - New Forest Community Wildlife Plans

Volunteers are wanted for a morning’s work (10am-1pm), to make the pathways accessible to allow more people to appreciate this wooded area, as well as clear a shady corner of a wildlife pond.

If you have an interest in the River Blackwater, an evening at Plaitford Village Hall on 11 March at 7pm will feature talks and open discussions where you can find out how to get involved in conserving the river.

The Community Wildlife Plans project, funded by the National Park Authority and RDPE (Leader), is aimed at encouraging local communities to identify wildlife habitats such as grassland, hedgerows, ponds, rivers and woodland in their local area.

The project is focussing on the areas of Godshill, Hordle, Landford, Marchwood, Milford on Sea, New Milton and Wellow.

Angela Peters, the Community Wildlife Plans Project Officer at the National Park Authority said: ‘I’m really looking forward to both these events and working with the volunteers. Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people and to do something to benefit the local community.’

Angela is also looking for people with an interest in animals, flowers, birds, bats or bees to become ‘wildlife champions’.

For more information on the volunteering opportunity at Barton on Sea or the meeting about the River Blackwater visit: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/communitywildlife

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Thursday, 7 February 2013

NFNPA - Encourage walking and cycling could realise £15,000 Grant for New Forest Businesses

Businesses or projects which aim to tempt people out of their cars could be in line for a grant of up to £15,000 from the New Forest National Park Authority.

The Sustainable Transport Solutions Fund has been launched to support initiatives which encourage users of the National Park to make the switch to sustainable transport choices.

The National Park Authority says going car-free makes sense for visitors, residents and the Forest itself.

Grants can help with a range of sustainable transport projects that:

  • Improve cycle facilities at transport hubs and attractions
  • Provide guided walking and cycling experiences
  • Encourage more cycling and walking for local journeys
  • Provide electric vehicle (car/cycle) charging points and hire initiatives.

Other projects that meet the criteria of the Fund will be considered.

Andy Brennan, Sustainable Development Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The New Forest National Park is a unique landscape and by making small changes we can help protect it for future generations.

‘This grant is part of a £3.8million Local Sustainable Transport Fund initiative for the South Downs and New Forest national parks. It will bring in a range of measures to encourage people to explore the national parks in environmentally-friendly ways.’

If you are interested in applying to the fund, check out the National Park Authority website (www.newforestnpa.gov.uk) for more details. For further information email STSF@newforestnpa.gov.uk or call 01590 646676.

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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

NFNPA welcomes new recognition for England’s forests


The New Forest National Park Authority has welcomed the Government’s announcement (31st January 2013) that publicly-owned forests in England will be kept in trust for the nation.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said a new public body will be created that will hold in trust the nation’s forests for future generations.

The Government Forestry and Woodlands Statement launched today says Government wants ‘strong and resilient delivery arrangements that achieve better quality outcomes for the economy, people and nature’.

It says a new separate Public Forest Estate management body will be given ‘greater freedom to achieve a sustainable financial position and manage its resources to best effect within a clear long-term remit to maintain and enhance the land, trees and other assets under its care’.

The Statement says: ‘This will include recognising both the integrity of the overall Estate and the unique historical, environmental and cultural characteristics of the living, working landscapes in its individual forests and woodlands, such as the New Forest and the Forest of Dean.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson said: ‘The New Forest National Park Authority welcomes the recognition from Government that National Parks are special places; the New Forest in particular has its own unique culture which needs nurturing and protecting.

‘The Government has also recognised the significant economic value that forestry and woodland brings, and the potential to do more. We are already looking at the potential of wood fuel in the Forest and working closely with tourism businesses (the New Forest alone generated £211m in tourism income in 2011/12) and we look forward to working further with private landowners and businesses to keep the Forest a living and working community.’

The report also says the new ways of working should deliver 12% woodland cover by 2060.

Mr Johnson said: ‘There is a commitment from Government to publish an Open Habitats Strategy this year which will enhance our unique mix of habitats in the New Forest and ensure that the right trees are in the right place.

‘There is also a commitment to focus on continuing to involve and liaise with local people and to harness the real passion that people have for their forests and woodlands. We will be working with partners to maintain public access to the New Forest which is so important to people’s health and well-being.’

The Government’s announcement was in response to a report by the Independent Panel on Forestry. The Panel was established on 17 March 2011 to advise government on the direction of forestry and woodland policy in England and on the role of the Forestry Commission in implementing policy.

Mr Johnson said the National Park Authority was delighted to have been involved in the whole process of the review, including a visit by the Panel to the New Forest. He said: ‘We feel today’s Statement reflects the real benefits to people of the Public Forest Estate and has been informed by the valuable experience of people on the ground.’

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