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Common Cause: Verderers’ Hall

Common Cause: Verderers’ Hall

Lead Partner

Forestry Commission

What is it about?

The project will aim to maintain the unique commoning heritage of the New Forest and develop a programme of access and interpretation that will increase public support and understanding for the commoning way of life.

The Forestry Commission will restore the Grade II* listed Verderers’ Hall, this is the 1904 forest courtroom located adjacent to the Queen’s House in Lyndhurst. The Hall is where the Verderers’ public meetings are held and where commoners make presentments for the consideration of the Court on matters related to commoning in the New Forest. The restoration of the Hall will include restoration to the quarry tiles, timber features and paintwork, as well as improvements to access and security to allow increased future access to the visiting public. Enhancements to the Hall will also include the provision of updated and improved digital interpretation.

The project will:

  • Restore the Verderers’ Hall
  • Improve access, resulting in 90 community groups using and 9000 people visiting the Hall, creating an increase in people’s awareness and understanding of commoning
  • Train volunteers to help interpret the Verderers’ Court to the general public
  • Result in more people understanding the unique commoning heritage and the role of the Verderers’ Court, therefore producing positive improvements in behaviour e.g. a reduction in animal accidents and the feeding of livestock.
Volunteering and training

The Verderers’ Hall will become more available to community groups wishing to use the venue as a free of charge facility. This is already happening for some volunteer groups who use the venue as a regular meeting facility and it is hoped that a more accessible Hall can be of benefit to other volunteer groups. There may also be scope for volunteers to staff the Verderers’ Hall, depending on demand, to help interpret its role in telling the commoning story to the public during open sessions and at key events.

If demand is sufficient to staff the Verderers’ Hall open sessions with a volunteer, training will be provided to all volunteers taking up this duty. This would include training on specific information about the history of the building itself, the traditions of the Verderers’ Court and commoning life in the New Forest, as well as the role of the Forestry Commission at Queen’s House.

Visit the training and volunteering pages for information on specific roles within the Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership scheme.

Legacy

The legacy of the project will include improved public access to this historic Hall, maximising the interpretation and educational opportunities and making it a very powerful tool for sharing the important role played in the New Forest by the commoners, Verderers and Agisters.

These groups will become more visible, allowing residents and visitors to look beyond the ponies out on the Forest and see the heart of how the Forest is managed.

Contact details

Zoe Cox – Community Manager, The Forestry Commission

Tel: 0300 067 4601 email: zoe.cox@forestry.gsi.gov.uk


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