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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas Lights at Lyndhurst

I pass through Lyndhurst High Street almost every day of the week and just had to share with you just how wonderful it looks during the Christmas period. 

Christmas lights on Lyndhurst High Street, New Forest (Jim Champion) / CC BY-SA 2.0

A typical pre-Christmas scene, looking down the High Street from the junction with Romsey Road. This close to the winter solstice, the sun set an hour ago but the shops are still open. At this end of the High Street the buildings are mainly pubs or eateries.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

New Forest Christmas Brockenhurst - Get into the festive spirit

New Forest Christmas Fair New Park BrockenhurstWith locally produced seasonal gifts, tasty hot food and Santa’s grotto, the New Forest Christmas Fair is perfect for getting into the festive spirit this winter.

After last year’s successful inaugural event, which attracted over 4,500 visitors, the Fair is returning to New Park, Brockenhurst from Saturday 7 to Sunday 8 December.

The gates are open from 10am until 4pm, with an expanded number of stalls, food outlets and activities. Visitors can purchase their Forestry Commission Christmas tree, enjoy a glass of mulled wine, browse for interesting or unusual locally sourced presents, or sample delicious festive food.

Many of the traders are members of the New Forest Marque, a quality assurance scheme supported by the National Park Authority. The Marque promotes authentic New Forest fare of the highest quality, and encourages people to shop locally.

If you are a local trader we would like to hear from you, as there are still some stalls available. Make sure you join the many businesses that make the most of this prime opportunity to sell their goods during the build-up to Christmas.

Marque member Hollyhock Flock, a flock of Gotland sheep based in the New Forest, attended the fair last year to sell their woolly goods. The flock’s founder Sue Cole said: ‘The Fair gets everything right - there are lots of great stalls to buy exciting presents and seasonal goodies, and many of the traders are local.

‘The whole event has such a friendly and festive atmosphere, so much so that there are quite a few people who come both days because they have such a good time. It was everything a Christmas fair should be and this year’s event promises to be even better.’

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager and Fair co-ordinator, said: ‘Last year the event was a huge success, and the 2013 fair will have even more attractions and stalls for visitors to enjoy.

‘Take advantage of the fantastic range of local products on offer and remove the hassle from Christmas by doing all your shopping in one place.’

Gary North, Recreation Manager at the Forestry Commission, said: 'We can’t promise a white Christmas but we can help you make it green!

‘Nothing beats the experience and smell of a real tree, which use about 10 times fewer materials and five times less energy than artificial trees - and they smell divine. You can be sure that our knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you choose the shape and size that suits you best, and wrap it up ready for you to take home.'

For more information on the fair, or to reserve a trading stall at the event, email or phone 01590 622400.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Story of our Coast: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington
30th November 2013 – 25th January 2014

The Story of our Coast: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy, a new exhibition at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington, looks at how the ever-changing south Hampshire coast has played a defining role in the area’s history and why it has been a source of fascination for centuries. Opening on Saturday 30th November, it will run until Saturday 25th January 2014.

The coast has been central to the development of Lymington, its salt industry, port and boat building, and to the growth of Milford and Barton as seaside resorts. Its strategic importance is shown by the building of Hurst Castle by Henry VIII and the World War II anti-invasion defences. Myths and stories have also grown up to become entwined with fact such as giant tidal waves engulfing houses and tunnels, where smugglers hid their booty.

Great visions for the future have been inspired by the coast, but many have never reached fruition. Discover historic plans for a suspension bridge at Lymington, a pier at Milford and a tunnel to connect Keyhaven with the Isle of Wight. Should we be grateful these plans were never progressed, or would they have changed the region for the better? Visit the exhibition and come to your own conclusion.

The exhibition is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tickets to The Story of our Coast and St Barbe Museum, which is open between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Saturday, cost £4 for adults, £3 for senior citizens and students, £2 for children aged five to 15, and £10 for a family of two adults and up to four children; under fives are admitted free of charge.

For more details visit or telephone 01590 676969.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sustainable Tourism and Conservation Accolades for Camping in the Forest

Camping in the Forest has reinforced its commitment to making a low impact on the environment and local culture by achieving impressive results in both the David Bellamy Conservation Awards and the Green Tourism Awards.

Camping in the Forest Conservation Accolades
Camping in the Forest is a keen supporter of the outdoor lifestyle and understands that conserving the natural environment on its campsites, and supporting the local economy at the same time, is key to sustaining its green reputation.

Fifteen Camping in the Forest Sites received a David Bellamy ‘Gold’ award – the highest possible level of excellence: Aldridge Hill, Ashurst, Bracelands, Cobleland, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, Hollands Wood, Holmsley, Ocknell, Longbeech, Postern Hill, Roundhill, Setthorns, Beddgelert and Glenmore.

Notably, Bracelands campsite also achieved a ‘Silver’ award.

Local wildlife assessors looked at the steps the sites took to manage their land as a haven for wildlife; reduce their use of energy, water and other resources; reduce, reuse and recycle the waste they produce; and support their local communities.

A further five sites also achieved gold star ratings in the Green Tourism Business Scheme - Cashel, Christchurch, Cobleland, Glenmore and Postern Hill.

Aldridge Hill, Ashurst, Beddgelert, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, Hollands Wood, Holmsley, Ocknell, Longbeech, Roundhill and Setthorns also received ‘Silver’ star ratings.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme recognises places to stay and visit that are taking action to support the local area and the wider environment. It’s the largest sustainable green scheme to operate globally and assesses hundreds of fantastic places to stay and visit in Britain.

Bob Hill, The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Sites Director, said: “Once again, our Camping in the Forest Sites have excelled themselves and have achieved some brilliant results - it really is a fantastic effort by all of our site teams.

“We hope these accolades encourage holidaymakers to visit our sites and enjoy spending time in the local area – holidaying in the UK is certainly continuing to flourish.”

To book at pitch at any of our Camping in the Forest Sites telephone; 0845 130 8224 or 024 7642 3008 or online:

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Pitch up with Camping in the New Forest this October

Have you ever thought about pitching up under a glorious, multi-coloured canopy, in a sea of golden leaves? Visit a Camping in the Forest Site and you can do just that!

Experts at the Forestry Commission are predicting a riot of leaf colour this October, so it’s the perfect time to experience camping for the first time, or return for some autumnal fun.

These nine beautiful Camping in the Forest Sites are open this October: Holmsley, Setthorns, Postern Hill, Bracelands, Christchurch, Beddgelert, Cashel, Cobleland and Glenmore.

And there’s plenty to experience in the UK’s woodlands as the Forestry Commission has a number of exciting organised events planned throughout the month. Whether it be guided Nordic walks, forest survival activities or star gazing; there is something for everyone – and they’re all within easy reach of Camping in the Forest Sites.

Camping in the Forest also offers fantastic Ranger activities such as Dusk Watch, Young Explorers, Night Vision and much more.

For more information on the Forestry Commission’s activities, visit: and for guidance on Ranger experiences, visit:

And holidaymakers can also see what to expect from a Camping in the Forest experience by watching its new video:

Libby Burke, Communications Manager for the Forestry Commission’s South District, said: “Autumn is a fantastic time of year to visit any forest and each has their own special quality. In the New Forest, with its mix of woodlands and heath, the landscape is transformed into muted browns with vibrant shocks of colour as the trees turn golden. You may even spot pigs running free here as they exercise the ancient right of ‘pannage’.

“There are endless opportunities in woodland for enjoying crisp autumn days, whether on foot, by bike or on horseback.”

Bob Hill, Sites Director at The Camping and Caravanning Club, added: “There is so much to experience when staying on a Camping in the Forest Site – particularly during the autumn months as it’s such a picturesque time of the year.

“We hope campers enjoy staying on our campsites and we look forward to continuing to work with the Forestry Commission to offer these unique holiday experiences.”

To book at pitch at any of our Camping in the Forest Sites telephone: 0845 130 8224 or 024 7642 3008 or online;

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Dragonflies of the New Forest

A couple of weeks ago I was sat in my car in a car park in the heart of the New Forest when suddenly a rather large Dragonfly with a very impressive fluorescent blue body flew across the bonnet of the car. It made numerous passes including actually entering the car through the open passenger window. It hovered motionless for a number of seconds as if curious of the creature sat in the drivers seat (me). Then went into reverse gear and made its exit back through the open window. After a couple more near passes at the car it eventually disappeared into the depths of the Forest.

What a wonderful experience, so much so that I searched YouTube to view more of these magnificent insects. You can view the many different types of Dragonfly in the video below, but if you get the opportunity, go into the Forest and view them in the flesh - truly breathtaking experience.

Credit : Keith Talbot Wildlife Channel on YouTube crockfordkat


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...

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Brockenhurst Blacksmith

In the evening of the 20th March 1692 Nicholas Masters was dying. He lived in a thatched cottage on the other side of the Lymington Road to his blacksmith's shop. The  blacksmith's was situated on the island where the cycle shop now stands in Brockenhurst.

At his bedside were two friends and he verbally disposed of his property. That morning he died, leaving a wife who was to outlive him by almost fifty years.

Johnathan Masters had already informed the family that he was un-willing to accept the inheritance as he had a good job as a taylor in Southampton. It was therefore Nicholas, named after his father, who was to inherit.

The blacksmith's shop had: an anvil and trough, a pair of billows, a fire-maker, a grinding stone and many other small tools. As well as his household goods Nicholas had a horse, a great crimson coat  and an old sword to dispose of.

The family moved elsewhere in the village and their cottage was compulsorily purchased by the Southampton and Dorchester Railway Company in 1846. When the land was not needed by the railway company the family declined to buy it back.

The blacksmith's shop was demolished in 1915 having been in the family since at least the Civil War, two hundred and seventy years.

Many thanks to Neil Hotson for this truly interesting piece of Brockenhurst Hampshire history.


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...

Sunday, 30 June 2013

NFNP - New Forest Walks

Walking is a wonderful way to see the New Forest National Park close up. There are many possible walks to take you into the woods, by sea, over heath or by rivers and streams. Experience the colours of changing seasons and the diverse flora and fauna.

Longslade by Barry Whitcher
One of the special qualities of the National Park is the freedom to ramble across unenclosed land. From April to July there may be signs asking people to avoid certain areas to limit disturbance to rare breeding birds, such as snipe, curlew and redshank. These birds nest on the ground in wet areas.

There are also many waymarked trails on the Forestry Commission website and guided walks organised by the National Park and others in the New Forest.

If you're looking to get fit and join like-minded people, why not try one of the New Forest Healthy Walks groups?

Visit the NFNP website for more Things to do at:


Twenty splendid short country walks in the New Forest National Park
The New Forest is the jewel of Hampshire's crown. Relatively unchanged for centuries, it continues to provide wonderful opportunities for the walker to experience both its unique woodland and rare wildlife. The New Forest is a working, living landscape consisting of peaceful lawns and wild heather moorland, all of which set it apart as a place for the peaceful enjoyment of nature. Its proximity to the commuter belt of the south east means that it is ideally placed for weekend walks, while it continues to attract visitors from much further afield, who come to stay and explore the area for a week or two. Read more...

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Experts predict extinction of New Forest Ponies

I was shocked to read in the Express today that the New Forest Pony could become extinct. Apparently, the number of stallions imported into the Forest has dropped from 100 to just 10 following the collapse in demand for ponies.

New Forest Pony as published in the Express
Once again, it seems that the financial cost plays a big part in this. You can read the full story at the Express on-line at:

Your comments below would be much appreciated.

Friday, 29 March 2013

NFNPA - Your views on the draft Ashurst and Colbury Village Design Statement

Ashurst and Colbury Village Design Statement by NFNPA
Ashurst and Colbury Sign
Links to 13th century monks, a speech from a future prime minister at the local railway station, and a hospital for wounded soldiers are part of the fascinating village facts unearthed by Ashurst and Colbury residents in the New Forest.

Now residents working with the New Forest National Park Authority are asking people for their views on a draft Village Design Statement which they hope will help keep the character of their parish special.

The Statement has taken two years to produce in consultation with local residents and has been prepared by a steering group from the local community which is keen to ensure that the design of any new development in the parish respects the distinctive local character of the area.

When the National Park Authority planning committee considers any applications for the area, the Statement will provide them with more detailed design guidance as a supplement to the Authority’s planning policies.

Pat Wyeth, Chair of the New Forest National Park Authority planning committee said: ‘A great deal of work has gone into the preparation of this document and it shows how important the area’s character is to the local community.’

People are asked to give their views on the draft Ashurst and Colbury Village Design Statement during a six-week public consultation which starts on Monday 25 March.

You can view the VDS on the National Park Authority website and download a consultation form at

Please send your completed response form to:
Policy Team, New Forest National Park Authority
Town Hall
Avenue Road
Lymington, SO41 9ZG
or email

All comments will be made publically available. The closing date for the consultation is 5pm on Monday 6 May 2013.

The draft Ashurst and Colbury VDS will then go to the full National Park Authority meeting on 27 June 2013 to be considered for formal adoption.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

German POWS Scrap Book discovered in the New Forest

Setley German POWS Scrap Book
A scrap book of sketches, poems and Christmas greetings by German prisoners of war has been unearthed in the New Forest thanks to a project run by the New Forest National Park Authority.

The unique collection includes evocative sketches of the prisoner of war camp at Setley near Brockenhurst, as well as four wooden figures carved for the main gate.

The discovery was made as part of the New Forest Remembers – Untold Stories of World War II Project run by the New Forest National Park Authority.

The camp at Setley originally housed Italian prisoners of war before German prisoners were moved in after the Normandy landings in 1944. The scrap book was compiled for Christmas and includes etchings of camp life, snowy scenes as well as seasonal greetings to each other. It also includes some photos of the 300 to 500 prisoners held there from 1945 to 1947. On the cover is the German word ‘Lager’, which means camp in German, as well as the prisoners of war camp number 65.

The book was given as a Christmas present to the German camp leader Max Mueller who later settled in the New Forest at the end of World War II. The two-foot high carvings from Setley were given to him after the camp closed in 1947.

They have been donated by Mr Mueller’s widow Molly and their son Mike. Mike Mueller, who runs the Meerut bed and breakfast in Brockenhurst, said: ‘The scrap book has been gathering dust in a cupboard for years, and we just thought it would be nice for other people to see it. It was a Christmas present from the prisoners in the camp to my father. He didn’t talk much about his time there, so it’s remarkable to have this record.’

Gareth Owen, from the New Forest Remembers Project, said: ‘We’ve had a great response from people telling their World War Two stories, and the scrap book and carvings from Molly Mueller are real historical gems. The hand drawn sketches are particularly striking. Many of them are initialled so we are able to match them with the photos of the prisoners in the book. This is a fascinating insight into what was upmost in the minds of the German prisoners so far from their homeland.’

The two-year New Forest Remembers project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Exxon Mobil at Fawley. It aims to bring the war years to life through archaeological surveys and digitally capturing the memories of those who lived during the period. So far, more than 170 people have come forward to tell their stories.

Photo German POWS at Setley Camp in New Forest

The scrap book and carvings will be put on display as part of a New Forest Remembers exhibition at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst from 23 March until 28 April.

The exhibits will also be seen later in a digital portal full of recorded interviews, photos, letters, diaries, film footage and animated 3D reconstructions of some of the wartime buildings. Members of the public will be able to add their stories and memories to the portal when it goes online.

If you have your own story for the New Forest Remembers Project, you can contact the team at 01590 646600, email or write to New Forest Remembers, New Forest National Park Authority, Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG.

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


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!

Spread the word to your Facebook friends by leaving a comment in the box below

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:


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 ( for more details. For further information email or call 01590 646676.


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.’

Please do leave a comment below:

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Call for volunteer organisations

A free event to encourage local people to learn new skills and take on new challenges is back for a third successful year.

The Volunteer Fair on Saturday 2 March is a one stop shop for organisations looking to recruit new volunteers.

Last year over 350 people attended and the National Park Authority is keen to encourage new voluntary groups to come along and become part of this great event.

Centre (left to right) – Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority next to Catherine Chatters, New Forest Non-native Invasive Plant Officer at the HIWWT with volunteers pulling non-native Himalayan Balsam.

Catherine Chatters, New Forest Non-native Invasive Plant Officer at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, said: ‘We go to this event every year and we are always impressed by the calibre of people who come along wanting to get involved.

‘It is a great day, not only to meet prospective volunteers but to chat about the great work we do and to meet other voluntary organisations.’

Gillie Hayball, Lead Ranger at the New Forest National Park Authority, added: ‘We want to celebrate the great work going on in the New Forest and encourage more people to get involved.

‘It is already a thriving event but we would love more voluntary groups to come along.’

If you are an organisation interested in attending the New Forest Volunteer Fair on 2 March, from 10.30am-4pm, at Lyndhurst Community Centre, contact Gillie Hayball on 01590 646682 or email

Find out more at

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Human Tragedy of the Titanic

Titanic in Dock at Southampton
by Neil Hotson

Mrs Saunders, a widow, was walking down Bridge Street in the direction of Southampton Docks railway station. She was carrying her handbag, which contained six shillings.

John Dixon was also walking in Bridge Street. He had arrived from Belfast on Titanic, working his passage as a fireman's help. Being short of money he snatched the bag and ran into the nearby crowd, but was caught by a lad. Tuesday, April 9th, 1912, seemed an unlucky day for him as he was sentenced to 14 days' hard labour.

That same day Irishman Michael Rogers arrived in Southampton and signed on as a Steward in Titanic's Marconi department. Rogers wanted his fiancee to marry before the journey, but Miss Harris, of Winchester, preferred to wait as her family had suffered several recent bereavements. Her brother, Edward, was a steward in Titanic's plate pantry.

The next day, Charles Stride, of Chantry Road, was using a lame horse to pull a trolley laden with ice through Southampton. A short distance away the Titanic slipped her moorings and set out for New York. Ice of a different nature was to be her downfall.

On board was steward William Ward, an Australian living in Southampton, who was making his first trip with the White Star Company. He had been wrecked five times, on one occasion drifting two days in an open boat under tropical skies.

Saturday evening came and, at sea, the ship's designer, Mr. Thomas Andrews, visited the first-class stewardesses' mess to ask if there were any improvements in the ship that they could suggest. A few hours later his priorities had changed. The starboard side of the ship stove in as it collided with an iceberg, the impact breaking the leg of third engineer Shepherd.

Steward Percy Keen roused steward Butterworth from his sleep, leaving him only when he saw he had begun to dress. Percy Keen survived but his shipmate was lost.

Mr. Andrews returned to the stewardesses' mess to tell Mrs. Gold and Mrs. Martin to hurry up on deck. The messenger could not save himself.

Chance again showed its hand when a box of "biscuits" hurriedly put into a lifeboat was found to contain rockets,some of which were fired off.

A large crowd assembled outside the White Star offices in Canute Road, hungry for any news. John Foster, a stevedore from Itchen, jostled for position in the throng. His work colleague was standing near him and found it easy to steal his silver watch and chain.

Steward Ward's son had the news he wanted. He rushed into the newspaper office exclaiming, "Please I've got a cable from my dad. He's saved." But Miss Harris at Winchester would not see her fiance or brother again.

The first contingent of survivors arrived at Southampton's West railway station, from Plymouth, shortly after 10 pm on Sunday, April 28 th. The second contingent, of stewards and stewardesses, arrived the next evening. Large crowds greeted the homecomers and both trains went on to the docks station, where there were some very emotional reunions.

In Winchester, George Williams decided to knock at the door of Southgate Lodge and ask for work. He falsely claimed to be a Titanic survivor. The magistrates took a dim view and he was given 14 days' hard labour for begging alms.

The Titanic disaster was a very human tragedy.

Photo acknowledgement:

Editor: Although the content of this post does not directly relate to the New Forest as such, it was written by Neil Hotson a local man whose unique writing skills have impressed me. I hope you enjoy reading this snippet of interesting history and please DO LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW.