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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Tackling the Back to School Blues

Natural Care for Natural Concerns

The toddler clinging to mum’s leg at the playschool door… The five-year-old throwing up with first-day-at-school terror… Your self-assured son suddenly a nail-biting bag of nerves after being teased by classmates… Your teenage daughter juggling the move to a huge new school and her raging hormones…

Sue Leach in Boldre clinic
There’s a lot of heartache and angst going on at this time of year – and millions worldwide are turning to homeopathy for help. Homeopathic treatment can soothe all sorts of fears and anticipatory anxiety, and help not only youngsters make the transition to nursery and school – but also parents get through the guilt and anxiety of ‘abandoning’ them! Remedies can treat older children who find academic work challenging, are being bullied or struggling socially at school. Then there’s that huge gulf when you’ve seen them through their school days and they’re off making their own way in life.

“Homeopathy enables us to feel the fear and just do it – holding our hand, throughout,” says Sue Leach, homeopath and allergy practitioner at Boldre Homeopathic Practice in the New Forest. ‘We treat every patient, whatever their age and circumstances, as an individual, uncovering the cause of the problem and working with nature to provide effective treatment. It makes so much sense to use homeopathy for children and we could not be more pleased with the results we’re achieving.”

Homeopathy is now being used by over 200 million patients worldwide. Remedies are non-toxic, non-addictive and usually have no side effects, and though they were first discovered over 200 years ago they bring help and solace to very contemporary problems. Clinical trials are proving, time and again, that homeopathy is a powerful treatment against childhood ailments and a strengthener of the immune system for later in life.

From conception to cradle, homeopathy helps women wanting to get pregnant and creates wellbeing throughout pregnancy and following the birth. In babies, it tackles skin problems such as cradle cap and eczema; ear infections; colic; teething and feeding problems. In older children, natural treatment can help with coughs and colds, asthma, bedwetting and behavioural problems. When a child reaches school age, homeopathy effectively treats everything from nervousness and nightmares to head lice and nosebleeds. In a maze of vaccinations, health scares and a sea of emotion, learning how to heal our children naturally should be our very first lesson.

Sue Leach is a member of the Society of Homeopathy, adhering to high professional standards and a strict code of ethics. For more information about latest developments in homeopathy, natural medicines and specific treatments, please visit or contact Sue Leach on or 01590 624020.

Recommended Reading: Your Healthy Child with Homeopathy

Friday, 26 August 2011

Brand new allotments for Ashurst and Colbury

Residents from Ashurst and Colbury celebrated the opening of 43 new allotment plots this weekend.
Left to right is as follows: Sally Arnold Chairman of Ashurst & Colbury Parish Councillor,
Tim Jobling Barker-Mill Trustee, David Bryant Ashurst & Colbury Parish Councillor and
Len Griggs Ashurst & Colbury Parish Clerk

Thanks to land donated by the trustees of the Barker-Mill estate, funding from the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, the Big Lottery and Hampshire County Council they now have an allotment on their doorstep.

Andy Brennan, Sustainable Development Fund Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority said: ‘Funding projects like the allotments is important and embodies the ethos of the Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund.

‘The allotment holders will now be growing their own food; cutting down on transport, packaging and carbon emissions. It also brings together a broad range of people of all ages and backgrounds from the local community.’

Sally Arnold, Chairman of Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council added: ‘These allotments are a much needed addition to the area. There are different types and sizes of allotments depending on a person’s needs including; a raised bed for the elderly and disabled, and a communal area for children to play and allotment holders to relax.

‘The Parish Council has overseen and managed the project and support from bodies like the National Park Authority has really helped make this a success’.

The Sustainable Development Fund is a grant scheme to encourage sustainable living within the New Forest National Park. Since April 2006 over 90 projects have been funded including the removal of invasive plants, rain water harvesting systems, biomass boilers, composting toilets, archaeological excavation equipment and research into Bechstein’s and Barbastelle bats.

Funding is available for projects that provide environmental, economic and community benefit to the National Park. The fund is open to community groups and organisations as well as businesses. For more information or to discuss a potential application please contact Andy Brennan on 01590 646676 or

Recommended Reading: New Forest National Park: Short Walks by local author David Foster

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Free cycling event for children with disabilities

Young person at Blackwater
on an all ability bike.
Children and young adults with learning or physical disabilities or who have autism are being invited to attend two ‘open’ cycling sessions if they are between the ages of eight and 19 years old.

There are 10 places available for young people to try a full range of nine all ability bikes at Blackwater just off Rhinefield Drive near Brockenhurst on Wednesday 31 August and Wednesday 14 September.

All helmets and instructions are included in this ‘free’ event and there is parking, accessible toilets and a picnic area.

Those attending the event will need to be accompanied by a parent or carer and families are welcome to come along and watch.

Chris Gregory, Transport and Tourism Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘These sessions provide a great introduction to cycling for young people with disabilities. The introduction of these highly specialised bikes makes cycling in the New Forest more accessible and more inclusive than ever before.'

For more information about the types of bikes that are available to try visit and for more information about the event go to

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Roman Villa open day at Rockbourne

Come and visit Rockbourne Roman Villa, it has 40 rooms, under floor heating and several bath houses, sounds like your ideal house? There’s just one problem, its 1,600 years old!

On Wednesday 31 August from 11am-4pm the New Forest National Park Authority is inviting people along to its ‘archaeology discovery day’ to find out what life was like for Roman Britain’s.

It is still possible to walk round the remains of the villa and visit the museum which is packed full of fascinating objects found during excavations. The history of the site spans from the Iron Age to the 5 century AD.

The villa was discovered in 1942, however because of the war, large-scale digging did not start until 1956 with further excavations taking place until 1978. In 1982 the mosaic floor was relayed.

James Brown Maritime Archaeology Education & Outreach Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Rockbourne Roman Villa is the only villa in the New Forest and has provided significant archaeological evidence of that period.

‘We want as many people as possible to come down and join us to learn about its history and get involved in activities, games or challenges and perhaps test the experts by asking challenging questions too!’

The event is open to all ages and dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on the lead. The cost of the event is £3.00 for adults, £2.00 for concessions, £8.00 for a family ticket and under 5’s go free.

This is a joint event with Hampshire County Council, for more information about the ‘archaeology discovery day’ visit

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Robust governance procedures in place says National Park Authority

The New Forest National Park Authority today (15 August) said it has acted upon an Audit Commission report into the processes which saw changes of senior officers two years ago, in summer 2009.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson, who became Chairman in June 2010, said: ‘This report relates to a very difficult period for the Authority, now over two years ago.

‘We acknowledge that at that time, since the organisation needed to act quickly and decisively in difficult circumstances, some processes were not taken forward in the best way. However, it is important to mention that the course of action taken was backed by Members.

‘All the Auditor’s recommendations have already been implemented and we have a new team in place, with a new CEO who started in June 2010.’

He said: ‘As a publicly-funded organisation we are fully aware of our responsibilities to the community and tax-payer. When decisions were taken in 2009, I am clear that it was in the belief that it was the right course of action for the organisation, for the community and for the tax-payer.’

Mr Johnson said he was pleased the Auditor has recognised that improvements have already been achieved and the Authority’s commitment to continuing this process.

He added: ‘We have always been keen for the report to be published and fully respect the Auditor’s responsibilities. I am confident that the Authority has moved forward significantly since 2009, has developed robust and transparent governance procedures and is working closely with its partners to deliver lasting benefits for the New Forest. We have responded to the recommendations and will continue to move forward positively from a turbulent period and to focus on all important delivery for the New Forest.

‘Our recent Annual Report shows we are championing the Forest and are focussed on delivery:

  • engaging over 8,000 children and young people in learning about the Forest
  • helping to secure very significant funding for commoning and habitat management on the Open Forest
  • supporting many community projects through our Sustainable Development Fund – with over 100 projects in place engaging around 55,000 people and drawing in new funding of £1.8 million
  • recording new information about our coastal heritage and engaging 200 volunteers in doing this
  • adopting a Core Strategy giving clear planning guidelines for the National Park
  • working closely with Parishes on planning and a wide range of other projects such as the creation of a community nature reserve at Landford.’

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Beaulieu Road Sales Yard Fit for the Future

Unveiling of the plaque - left to right-
Julian Lewis MP, Poul Christensen,
Chair of Natural England, Alison Barnes,
Chief Executive of the New Forest
National Park Authority, Dominic May,
Official Verderer and Julian Johnson
Chairman of the New Forest
National Park Authority
A partnership of key New Forest organisations has worked together to deliver vital upgrades to Beaulieu Road Sales Yard making it fit for purpose for future generations of commoners.

The re-vamped Beaulieu Road Sales Yard was opened by Poul Christensen, Chairman of Natural England on 11 August.

The Beaulieu Road Sales Yard is run by the New Forest Livestock Society and is an essential part of New Forest culture. It holds between five and six sales a year for the iconic New Forest Pony and is the only purpose built facility in the country for the sale of semi-feral ponies.

The improvements are the result of many years of work and planning from the partners involved, particularly the New Forest Livestock Society, the New Forest National Park Authority, the Forestry Commission, the New Forest Trust, the Verderers and Natural England.

The work at the yard has now brought in long awaited mains water and electricity, a toilet block and a lorry and trailer wash down area that enables the sales yard to comply with increasing health and safety and welfare regulations. These general improvements also provide better facilities for buyers and sellers and visitors, and will help contribute towards the success of the sales.

Poul Christensen Chair of Natural England, said: ‘This is a celebration of an investment that supports a future for commoning, a historically important culture that creates a living, working landscape of international importance and natural beauty. Natural England is proud to have worked with the partnership that has delivered this project.’

David Readhead, Chair of the New Forest Livestock Society said: ‘When I took over the management of the sales yard in 2003, it was obvious that there was still a lot of work to be done to bring the yard up to the standard required by current legislation. We’ve been working towards that now for many years and I am proud that the yard will now conform to the latest regulations and will serve commoners well for the next 50 years. I want to thank all of those organisations who have assisted in getting us to this point, particularly the National Park Authority and the Verderers, who have provided significant support.

Kathryn Boler, External Funding Officer at New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Having been heavily involved in the planning of this project since 2007, it is enormously satisfying to see the improvements finally in place. This project is a great example of partnership working in the New Forest. So many organisations have worked closely together to deliver this project which will benefit commoners enormously, help ensure the future of the New Forest Pony and provide an economic benefit to businesses who work closely with the commoners.’

The next Beaulieu Road pony sales will be on the 15 September 2011.

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Discover your National Park

Put Thursday 18 August in your diary for a jam-packed day of excitement, events and everything you ever wanted to know about the New Forest National Park.

This free event starts at 10:30am at the New Forest Centre and will be bursting with children’s activities, guided walks around Lyndhurst and the Open Forest, tours of the historic Verderers’ Court which has been in place since the 13 century, games and an opportunity to have a picnic in the gardens of the historic Queen’s House.

Music and entertainment will be provided by ‘Junk’ who featured in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent. They will be providing music from recycled materials and making sure that everyone gets involved!

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer for the New Forest National Park, said: ‘This is a great day for everyone to come along to. It offers a taster of what the New Forest has to offer and gives people an insight into the Forest’s ancient traditions and unique way of life.

For more information about the event visit

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Explore the ‘wonders’ of the New Forest coast

Celebrate South-East Marine week by rolling up your trousers and getting wet exploring the New Forest coastline at Lepe Country Park.

Marine Wonders is a free event next Tuesday and Wednesday (9/10 August) from 10am-4pm that offers an abundance of things to do and has something on offer for all ages.

New to this year’s event is the ‘Submarine cinema’ showing three dramatic films about the underwater world of one of England’s busiest channels. Learn about the ‘Shipwrecks of the Western Solent’ with exclusive underwater footage of how the wrecks got to be there, followed by ‘Meadows under the Sea’ and ‘Beneath the Waves’ which explores the huge range of wildlife that can be found off the south coast.

Mike O’Leary, local story teller will also be delighting children at Lepe with his ‘tall’ tales of the sea.

There will be three beach safaris each day at low tide to search for the ‘wonders’ that live in the sea such as crabs, anemones, brittle stars and barnacles.

You will also have the opportunity to speak to rangers and wildlife experts about how to identify creatures from this unique environment and be able to ‘wow’ your family and friends with your newly acquired knowledge.

The day will be jam-packed with activities including; ‘making your own sea floor’, travelling back in time with our archaeological treasure chest, guided walks, beach safaris, making a shingle sculpture and an opportunity to try our ‘Octoquiz’ with top prizes drawn from a hat!

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This event is the perfect way to explore our coastline above and below the water. The New Forest coast is buzzing with wildlife and has a great history. We want people to come along and find out more about this fantastic area of the New Forest’.

The event is organised in partnership with Hampshire County Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

For more information about the event visit

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Still time to give your views on draft planning guidelines

The New Forest National Park Authority and the New Forest Equine Forum would like to remind people that there is still time to submit their views on draft horse-related development guidelines until 5pm, Wednesday 10 August 2011.

The draft planning guidelines about horse-related development have been prepared by the New Forest National Park Authority working in partnership with the New Forest Equine Forum.

Since the public consultation was launched in June responses have already been received from a number of local parish councils and residents within the National Park, and people within an interest in the guidelines are encouraged to respond by the deadline.

The guidelines acknowledge the economic benefit that horse riding brings to the local economy, and aim to ensure that any related development does not have an adverse impact on the special qualities of the National Park.

Following the consultation the National Park Authority and the Equine Forum will consider the comments received. The final guidelines will be presented for formal adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document at the next National Park Authority meeting in September.

Once the guidelines are adopted they will form part of the Local Development Framework for the National Park, and will be considered when determining planning applications within the Park.

The draft guidelines can be viewed at the National Park Authority’s offices and can also be viewed on line at

Please send your comments to the Policy Team, New Forest National Park Authority, South Efford House, Milford Road, Lymington SO40 0JD or email

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Medieval links to salt industry unearthed

(left to right): John Kaines of Wessex Archaeology,
James Brown from the New Forest National Park
Authority, and volunteer Barry Kerley of
Hythe, who found the medieval pottery.
Archaeologists and volunteers unearthed medieval pottery as they stepped back in time to look at the New Forest National Park’s ancient salt industry.

The volunteers and experts excavated an area at Lymington where for hundreds of years a thriving salt-making industry dominated the coastline.

James Brown, the New Forest National Park Authority’s Maritime Archaeology Education and Outreach Officer, said the trenches were dug off Lower Woodside, Lymington, in an attempt to find the earliest evidence of salt production along the New Forest coast.

With 12 volunteers involved in the excavation and 65 members of the public taking part in guided walks, the events were held to celebrate the Festival of British Archaeology last week (18 – 22 July).

James said: ‘Last year we excavated at the remains of a salt boiling house which closed in 1865, just down the track from the site where we have been working this week. Much of this later salt industry was on land reclaimed from the sea, so with this excavation we have been searching for earlier evidence of salt production.’

Salt was a vital international trade and brought great wealth to Lymington. Evidence shows that at the industry’s peak in around 1730 there were 163 pans in the Lymington area. Between 1724 and 1766 Lymington exported 4,612 tons of salt in 64 ships - 12 cargoes were destined for Newfoundland, 33 to America and others to Norway, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

The pieces of pottery were sent off to a laboratory to be analysed and the results showed they dated from the 12th or 13th century.

James said: ‘We know a lot of the land was reclaimed from the sea during the salt-making process. The Domesday Book shows that salt production was going on in 1086 and we’re hoping to eventually find some evidence of Roman or Iron Age salt production in the area. If we can find the original coastline we can find where the older salt workings were. This proves that there was human activity here in medieval times.

‘We have also sent off soil samples so we can start processing the pollen and microscopic sea animals so we can see if see if it was salt marsh or freshwater habitat.’

Other New Forest National Park activities to celebrate the Festival included a finds day at Lyndhurst where people brought in their artefacts to be identified. They ranged from Palaeolithic flint stone tools from 700,000 years ago to Roman pottery from the Lymington area. Volunteers also helped with an excavation at St Michael’s Church, Lyndhurst.

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

National Park tells Forestry Panel New Forest should be managed as one unit

The New Forest National Park Authority is calling on the Independent Panel on Forestry to keep the New Forest as a single entity when it considers the area’s future in its review of English forestry.

The NPA’s official response to the Panel’s ‘call for views’ says the New Forest’s Crown lands should continue to be managed ‘in an integrated way as a single unit, drawing on the expertise and significant knowledge that already exists in the Forestry Commission locally’ to look after it effectively.

The Independent Panel was set up to advise Government on the future of England’s forests and woods by April 2012.  It has a wide-ranging remit including advising on the future direction of forest and woodland policy.

In its response, the Authority said the future management of the Crown Lands is critical to the integrity of the National Park and should be focused on maintaining and enhancing the special qualities of the area.

The National Park Authority also said that any future organisation responsible for the Crown Estate would have to bring together a wide range of groups with interests in the Forest and that ‘public accountability should be maintained or improved’.

‘This would require an organisation of sufficient size and with a clear remit, able to resolve often competing interests,’ the report said.

It needs ‘a strong culture of stakeholder consultation and involvement and the ability to bring together and work closely with a range of different local interests’, the report continued.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson said: ‘We have told the Panel that the New Forest warrants special consideration. Our Members were very clear that effective management of the area will require planning and delivery over a number of years, and therefore a long-term funding commitment.  As a recognised national asset of outstanding public importance,  the National Park Authority considers that a publicly managed New Forest remains the most practical and accountable option.

‘The national and international significance of the area, the complexity of its history and present management, the extent of open public access, the critical role of commoning and the sheer scale of its natural habitats all make the New Forest unique amongst England’s forests.’

Recommended Reading: The New Forest National Park: Leisure Walks for All Ages