Cycle event organiser’s charter
We are pleased to welcome cyclists to enjoy the beauty, tranquillity and fresh air of this amazing place. However we recognise that large numbers of event participants could impact negatively on the Forest and other people. We therefore request that cycle event organisers follow the following advice.
Help keep the New Forest special
- On websites, through rules of participation, in pre-event communication and at registration convey clearly that the New Forest is a special place.
- Amongst the things that make the New Forest special are the free-roaming cattle and ponies and the rich wildlife - these should all be respected and not disturbed.
- Cattle grids prevent the animals from straying onto faster roads, so do not attempt to cover them to make a smoother passage.
- Although the New Forest is the most densely populated national park in the UK, its residents and visitors still expect to enjoy its relative tranquillity – please keep noise to a minimum
- Some event HQs provide a good opportunity for National Park Authority presence, such as rangers with the mobile unit, to engage with participants – do consider inviting them.
- Litter is unsightly anywhere and in the New Forest it is dangerous to the animals - provide facilities for dealing with litter and instruct participants to dispose of waste responsibly.
Maximise the economic benefit to the New Forest
- Encourage participants and their families to stay overnight locally
- Promote local New Forest Marque produce and if possible use locally sourced refreshments, for example at ‘feed stations’.
- Introduce a contribution per participant (from the event entry fee) which is returned to the local economy, for example as a donation to a local charity.
Liaise with local organisations well in advance
- Contact New Forest District Council’s Public Events and Safety Advisory Group (SAG) so that the District Council, Highway Authority, Police and Fire and Rescue Service can assess the event plan and advise on any safety issues.
- Choose a date and routes which avoid conflict with other activities that have been notified to the SAG including the pony round-ups (drifts). Dates of drifts are also available from the Verderers of the New Forest.
- Contact any land owners across whose land the event route crosses or on which feed stations will be based. In the New Forest this may mean the Forestry Commission which manages the Crown Land, including the Forest verges. The Forestry Commission keeps a list of events on the Crown Land and will therefore check for clashes and give permissions where appropriate.
- Contact Parish/Town Councils through which the route goes so that they are aware of the event.
Make safety paramount
- If appropriate arrange staggered starts at large events to minimise bunching.
- Ensure that the pre-event briefings include reference to responsible cycling and following the Highway Code
- Ensure that aspects of the New Forest which need special attention are highlighted (e.g. awareness of stock animals and narrow roads).
- Instruct cyclists on best practice with regard to cycling in groups (e.g. extra concentration required and allowing a gap between groups to help vehicles overtake).
- Report instances of sign removal or tampering, tacks being placed on roads or offences committed by other road users to the Police immediately.
Invest in the future
- Provide an open invitation for local residents and participants to feed back after the event - this can include compliments for good organisation and behaviour and suggestions for improvements. Participants should display the name of the event and their participant number.
- Use the event to encourage more cycling by local communities, including families and children.
- Provide a memorable experience which encourages participants to return to the New Forest as visitors in the future.
- Hold a post event debrief, taking into account feedback received from local people.