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Friday, 30 September 2011

Bartley Lodge Wine Fair

Whether you have visited us before or are new guests you are sure to be impressed by the new look of our Bartley Lodge Hotel.  The hotel has been renovated and extended making use of traditional and historically correct materials which have transformed the hotel.

Come and wander around the hotel whilst enjoying fine wine, delicious food and the soothing, relaxing sound of live jazz music at our Wine Fair on Friday 7th October.

For just £25 per person you can taste 6 wines from our wine list, with our wine experts on hand to guide you, enjoy a delicious buffet created specially for the occassion by our award-winning chefs and soak up the atmosphere to the sound of live jazz from 'Chameleon Jazz' all from 7.30pm.

To ensure you get your tickets call us today on 0800 44 44 41.

For further information on food and wine tasting events that we hold at New Forest Hotels give us a call or bookmark our New Forest Hotels dining offers page, which showcases our latest food and wine tastings evenings at our New Forest Hotels.

To catch a glimpse of the renovation project at Bartley Lodge view our photo gallery, where we have uploaded some photos of the new rooms at our classic country hotel.

View: Bartley Lodge Hotel in Cadnam renovation photos.

We look forward to seeing you on the 7th October!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Go for Gold in our 2011 New Forest Photographic Competition

You can’t have missed the news that the Olympic Games is coming to London in 2012 and here in the New Forest we’re encouraging you to get ready and set by taking part in our Olympics-themed competition in 2011.

The annual competition, which is run jointly by the New Forest National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, has a theme of ‘gold, silver and bronze’.

So your photographs might feature golden sunsets, silver light on water, bronze autumn leaves or New Forest ponies in early morning light.

And this year, for the first time, the competition is open to other entries besides photographs.  You may submit paintings, sculptures and poems too as long as they feature the New Forest National Park and the theme of gold, silver and bronze.

There is total prize-fund of £1,000 with a first prize of £500, second of £250, third of £150 and £100 for the best under-16 entry.

Part of the prize also sees the winners and runners-up feature in a touring exhibition which will start at the Red House Museum in Christchurch and then head to the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst and then visit other venues in and around the New Forest in Olympics year.

Julian Johnson Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Olympics is a cultural celebration for the host country as well as a massive sporting event, where competitors and spectators around the world discover places in addition to new champions.

‘The New Forest is located right between the major London venues and the Weymouth sailing base so it is important that we make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’

For more information about submitting your entry visit The closing date for the competition is Monday 12 March 2012.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

‘Night mare’ in the New Forest

Julie Blake the Author of the 'Night Mare'
Meet Pip who is afraid of the dark and things that go ‘bump in the night’. Join him and his new friend in a brand new children’s book written and illustrated by Julie Blake from the New Forest National Park Authority.

The book aimed at three to seven year olds tells the story of ‘Pip’, a New Forest bat who has an invisible friend.

It is perfect bedtime story - not only is it beautifully illustrated but also helps children learn about creatures of the New Forest and reminds parents to drive safely.

‘I wanted to create a short story that engages children’s imaginations but would also help them to learn about the New Forest. The Forest is so unique I wanted to explain it in a fun and engaging way,’ said Julie.

‘It also has a message in it for adults about driving in the New Forest at night time and how important it is to look out for ponies and other animals crossing the road.’

The ‘Night Mare’ is available from the New Forest National Park Authority’s online store priced £7.00 and from the New Forest UK app in iTunes for 69p. To go directly to the book scan the code below.

Biography: Julie Blake has worked for the New Forest National Park Authority since 2007. She studied Graphic Design and specialised in illustration at Norwich School of Art. Since then she has exhibited artworks in Hampshire, Dorset and London. Having previously illustrated for editorial publications, this is her first published children’s book.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Priestlands Saving New Forest Ponies through Art

Following a spate of animal accidents, drivers are being urged by young people in the New Forest to drive carefully, in an Animal Accident Poster Competition, organised by the New Forest Trust and supported by other members of the Animal Accident Reduction Group. 187 pupils from Priestlands School, Ringwood School and Bournemouth Collegiate have designed posters, to highlight the need for drivers to take care on New Forest roads.

The New Forest Trust invited Year 7 and Year 8 pupils, from local secondary schools, to design eye catching posters, communicating a clear message for the drivers around the Forest roads to take special care. The fourteen winning posters are to be printed and displayed around various venues in the New Forest.

Diana Westerhoff, Natural England appointed Verderer, was one of the five poster judges, she said, “The committee judging the competition had some very difficult decisions to make, as there were many excellent ideas and we had a tough time trying to pick out winners. Clearly the children put a lot of effort into their designs and we all agreed that everyone deserved to be a winner. We appreciate all their efforts to make our roads safer for Forest stock.”

Nigel Matthews, Community and Visitor Services Manager, New Forest National Park Authority said, “ It is a good idea to use the ideas of young people to help reduce animal accidents. Animal accidents increase as the nights close in during October and November. Most animal accidents take place at night and motorists are urged to be especially careful on all unfenced roads. I hope these posters will remind drivers that they need to be ready to stop, when they see ponies and cattle beside, or on the road.”

Rick Manley, Chairman of The New Forest Trust, stated, “This competition has helped young people to engage with some of our work across the New Forest and we hope it has allowed them to explore, through their designs, ways of protecting our animals and our local environment. Well done to the winning designers and our thanks to all hotels and businesses, who have generously supported this competition.”

The fourteen winning entrants have received donated prizes by hotels which take part in the New Forest Trust Visitor Gift Scheme these include: Balmer Lawn, Careys Manor, Lime Wood, Montagu Arms, New Forest Hotels, Chewton Glen. Further prizes were donated by; Royal Oak, Fritham, White Buck Inn, Paultons Park, The New Forest District Council, The New Forest Wildlife Park, The New Forest National Park Authority, Beaulieu Motor Museum and Long Meadow Campsite.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Help the New Forest’s local food businesses improve their online marketing

Whilst the term ‘local food’ is frequently used, there appears to be no generally agreed or widely adopted definition with the concept meaning different things to different people. Local food is predominantly about distance between where food is produced and consumed, with 30 miles commonly cited by the big supermarkets as their definition.

But it’s important to recognise the difference between ‘locality food’ which is marketed and sold both nationally and internationally based on being produced in a specific geographical region, and ‘local food’ which is produced and consumed locally. Alternatively, Sustain include a number of, albeit loosely specified, environmental, animal welfare, employment, fair trading relations, producer profitability and cultural conditions in their definition of local food.

When asked, 70% of British consumers say they want to buy local food suggesting they care about the provenance of their food. However, this appetite for local does not convert into sales with local foods accounting for less than 5% of the UK grocery market.

Research by the Institute of Grocery Distribution has identified the main barriers preventing people buying local food as:

  • Lack of awareness that local foods exist
  • Believe they lack practical access to local foods
  • Think it is out of their price range
  • Believe they cannot rely on its availability

According to research published this month by a major supermarket trade magazine, the provenance of food is only the fifth most important issue for customers after price, taste, quality and brand. But supporters of local food would point to research by the same magazine that found 76% of shoppers agree or strongly agree that buying local or regional food supports jobs and boosts the economy.

Local groups such as Hampshire Fare exist specifically to actively promote the benefits of buying local produce, and these benefits include taste and quality. However, it is clear that supporters of local food need to raise awareness and overcome some of the wrongly held beliefs that currently prevent people from buying local foods.

A local student is currently researching opportunities for Hampshire’s local food businesses to embrace online marketing and you can help increase consumption of Hampshire's quality produce by completing this survey:

Do you consciously buy any foods because they're produced locally in the New Forest? Leave your comment below.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Kathryn Thomas Skylights 2011 Exhibition

Internationally acclaimed artist Kathryn Thomas, who recently relocated from Bristol to Poole, will be opening up her studio to the public from Saturday 29th October to Sunday 13th November for her latest exhibition, ‘Skylights 2011’.

The display, which offers 45 original oil paintings not previously displayed in Poole, is open every day throughout the exhibition dates from 10am to 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 6pm at weekends and is situated at West Quay House on West Quay Road in Poole. Admission is free and Kathryn will be available to answer questions or talk about her inspiration and techniques.

The arrangement of Kathryn’s Studio allows the public the uncommon opportunity to view art both in a working environment and also in a gallery space for the presentation of the finished article. The experience is further enhanced by the accompaniment of specially commissioned music by the sound recordist, Simon Whetham. The venue is especially poignant, as the building may be demolished in a few months’ time to make way for flats as part of the Holes Bay redevelopment project. Numerous people have already been side-tracked from their visit to the viewing platform of the new lifting bridge into the Studio for an altogether different type of viewing!

Throughout her career, Kathryn has found inspiration in nature. It is evident from her paintings that she is fascinated by natural light, how it changes with the weather and in turn, how those changes affect the landscapes we see and the way we see them. Unsurprising then that she should have found Poole to be so attractive with its strong and ever changing horizon. In more recent years her artistic vision has journeyed beyond the horizon and into space. Aided by an award from the prestigious Pollock Krasner Foundation of New York, Kathryn researched the aurora borealis, the galaxies and the planets and subsequently applied a quite different style to her paintings which, nevertheless, retain the vibrancy and evocative feel of her more traditional work.

Kathryn adds ‘I’ve always wanted to live and paint by the sea and I couldn’t have chosen a better location than beautiful Poole. I’m sure the landscape and weather patterns will influence and inspire my future work. Sadly, my studio at West Quay House will eventually be demolished so I’m making the most of the space while I can. I look forward to welcoming visitors to my new exhibition and getting to know Poole people better.’

Her works are owned by collectors around the world and Saudi Arabian royalty, peers of the realm and a variety of well known UK personalities can be counted amongst their number. Kathryn Thomas Skylights 2011 is open from Saturday 29th October to Sunday 13th November at West Quay House, 4 West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HT. For further information, visit

Recommended Reading: Art: The Definitive Visual Guide

Saturday, 17 September 2011

NFNPA - Consultation on draft Design Guide

The New Forest National Park Authority would like your views on a draft guide that aims to help protect the New Forest’s beautiful landscape and distinctive character.

The guide is intended to help and support applicants and agents in preparing proposals for development in the New Forest. It goes through the design process -from understanding landscape and settlement characteristics, to rural building influences, as well looking at matters such as external lighting and opportunities for wildlife. It provides a useful reference to what makes the New Forest a special place.

From Friday 9 September to Friday 21 October comments are being sought on the New Forest National Park Design Guide - Supplementary Planning document that supports the Core Strategy.

Pat Wyeth, joint Lead Member for Local Distinctiveness at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Guide aims to inform planning decisions and safeguard the National Park well into the future.’

Leo Randall, also Lead Member for Local Distinctiveness at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘It provides a framework to achieve high standards of design and is intended to inspire applicants, agents and others.’

The draft Design Guide aims to:

  • Maintain and enhance the Forest’s rural landscape and built character, while embracing sustainability
  • Seek to retain valued Forest buildings that make a positive contribution to the historic character and appearance of the locality
  • Improve areas where there is the opportunity to reverse the effects of less sensitive development
  • Encourage communities to involve themselves in the design issues relating to the distinct character of the National Park.

The draft Design Guide and response forms are available from or from the Authority’s headquarters at South Efford House, Milford Road, Everton, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 0JD.

Please email comments to or post them to the Authority’s headquarters by 5:00pm on Friday 21 October 2011.

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

Friday, 16 September 2011

New Power to local people for New Forest National Park

Government meets pledge to improve local accountability of National Parks.

Local people will have more say in the running of the New Forest National Park, under new Big Society plans announced by Defra today.

A pilot will take place in The New Forest for people to vote for members of their Park Authority, through democratic local elections. A proportion of all members will be appointed through this new system. The pilots in the New Forest and Peak District National Parks will last for four years.

Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson said: “The New Forest National Park Authority welcomes the opportunity to explore new ways of governance for National Parks which will improve our accountability.”

Natural Environment Minister, Richard Benyon said, “Our National Parks are our most treasured landscapes enjoyed by millions of people every year and contribute significantly to regional economies. The changes we are making will give the local communities a greater say in how their National Park is managed.”

The changes are expected to come into effect from April 2013, following consultation and pending legislative approval.

The Government is meeting the pledge made in the Coalition Agreement to review the governance arrangements of National Parks in order to increase local accountability.

Additional Notes of interest

  1. The National Park Authority’s proposals have been made following public consultation with people local to each National Park between 9 November 2010 and 1 February 2011.
  2. The Environment Secretary will no longer be required to approve parish members’ appointment to National Park Authorities.
  3. National Parks are protected for their beautiful countryside, wildlife and cultural heritage. People live and work in the National Parks and the farms, villages and towns are protected along with the landscape and wildlife. National Parks welcome visitors and provide opportunities for everyone to experience, enjoy and learn about their special qualities.

National news release from Defra:

Government meets pledge to improve local accountability of National Parks

The summary of responses is available on the Defra website at: under ‘ Latest News’.

Quote from National Park Chairman:

Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Julian Johnson said: ‘The New Forest National Park Authority welcomes the opportunity to explore new ways of governance for National Parks which will improve our accountability.

‘We are pleased to note that given our extensive awareness-raising of the issue through public meetings and other mechanisms to facilitate input to Defra’s consultation, the New Forest received the most views of any of the national parks and we look forward to working with our local partners to develop the pilot.

‘We are pleased the announcement appears to have taken on board a number of the NPA’s recommendations which we sent in as our response to the consultation process. These include increasing transparency around how members are appointed and removing the role of the Secretary of State in formally appointing the four Parish Council members.

‘Our response also indicated a willingness to consider having a proportion of directly locally elected members to broaden the membership.’

Recommended Reading: Delivering the Essentials of Life,Defra's Five Year Strategy: Cm. 6411

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Memoirs of a Baby Boomer – Compelling New Book by Peter Morley

Peter Morley
Peter Morley was born in a pre-technological, post-war Britain of bomb craters, ration books and National Health orange juice and cod liver oil. He was raised in an “ordinary”, but remarkable, loving and hardworking family of modest means and solid values. His first book, Orange Juice and Cod Liver Oil, is a heartwarming, compelling and amusing autobiography that will transport all Baby Boomers back to a time where people appreciated simple pleasures, where labour saving devices were a luxury, where people had more respect for everything and community spirit was the norm rather than a modern-day reaction to a tragedy.

Peter said: “I wrote this book because I wanted to record my experiences, and the thoughts and ideas they inspired, for my grandchildren so they might know something of their grandfather and of an age not so long ago but rather different from theirs.”

Peter not only chronicles his own life experiences, but those of his family through its last generations, showing how each of us absorbs knowledge, ideas and feelings from those with whom we associate, which can shape our lives in a positive or negative way depending on how we choose to handle these influences. The book covers political progress, religion, war, violence and other stimuli that have affected our social evolution, but with a different, personal and probably more realistic perspective to that which one might read about in academic history books.

Included in the book are excerpts from Peter’s mother’s journal of her early life. Of these Peter writes: “My mother was never critical of her parents to me and I find this surprising for I can find little evidence of any effort by them to alleviate the hardships for her. Perhaps she avoided bitterness to soften the reality of a very deprived start in life and to enable her to build an adult life for herself.”

By 1950 Peter’s parents had moved nine times. They both worked, so often cared for Peter in shifts. Although their work was all low paid and temporary and everything was bought second hand, they were building a family life.

Peter took pleasure in the idyllic countryside, picking blackberries, catching sticklebacks and lampreys and developing an empathy with nature and an enthusiasm for fishing. He made a boat from balsa wood, which he fitted it with a tiny electric motor and played and explored all day in a magical world. He enjoyed playing with other children when the opportunity was presented, but he was also happy to amuse myself. As an only child, he had learned to be self-reliant and certainly didn’t envy the squabbles that he witnessed between other brothers and sisters.

Educated at small country schools and an 11+ failure (Peter can’t recall answering any of the questions), he subsequently embarked on a 5-year apprenticeship, eventually obtaining an engineering degree as a part-time student. He went on to work as design engineer, project manager and group manager of a world class team, designing and building process plants for the production of hydrogen and other industrial gases and travelling extensively.

There are some hilarious accounts in the book involving Peter’s courtship with his wife Rosie, such as his first meeting with her parents: After the polite introductions, Rosie noticed something in my trouser pocket. “What have you got; is it something for me?”“No, it’s nothing,” I replied and, in that moment, realised how pleased I was to see her. “Yes, you have got something in your pocket; I can see it.” Her mother took an interest; perhaps it was a present for her? And then, realising it was not, she left the room abruptly, muttering about controlling oneself. I had not impressed on my first attempt.

Peter’s inspiring story shows how we all take the values we are taught into adulthood, but that it is also possible to reassess our views and beliefs based on our own experiences and the situations we encounter. It also demonstrates how we do not have to come from a privileged background in order to succeed in life.

He concludes by saying, “When we think or when we act we add something, good or bad, to the fabric of existence and when we feel optimistic and right with the world, we are drawing on the good stuff put there by all the people in all the generations since the very beginning. I am blessed with a soul mate of sweet nature and, perhaps, more tuned than many to this. It warms me and makes me better, stronger, richer. It even feels that I have become more able to add some threads.”

Orange Juice and Cod Liver Oil is available on Amazon and from other internet book sellers and leading high street bookstores.

Link to Amazon Store page >> Orange Juice and Cod Liver Oil: A Baby Boomer Memoir

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Sustainability through the key hole

If you are keen to learn more about how you can make your home sustainable put the 10-11 September in your diary for the ‘Green open doors’ event.

Organised by the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest Transition the two-day event showcases renewable energy technologies.

There are nine properties opening their doors across the New Forest in: Ashurst, Bashley, Beaulieu, Fordingbridge, Lymington, Lyndhurst, Milford-on-Sea, New Milton and Totton.

Three of the properties have been successful applicants to the National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, a grant scheme to encourage sustainable living in the National Park. It has funded almost 100 projects in the New Forest; many of these have been renewable energy schemes.

Claire Gingell, Interim Project Delivery Manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This event really enables people who come along to get involved. They have the opportunity to speak to the owners, see technology at work and share their knowledge and experience.’

New Forest Transition is a group of local people who share a common desire to tackle the environmental and economic challenges we are facing and build more resilient communities.

For more information on this free event and opening times of the properties and to download a map of the buildings visit

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