Forest Watch joins forces to tackle rural and wildlife crime

Published Friday 26 March 2010

Sergeant Louise Hubble is the face of a new partnership project to tackle rural community issues including wildlife and environmental crime in the New Forest.

The officer is heading up Forest Watch – an initiative led by the New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire Constabulary and partners to look at everything from fly-tipping to poaching, arson and nuisance vehicles.

Forest Watch also relies on expertise from the Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, National Farmers Union and New Forest District Council.

The scheme will focus on priority areas agreed following consultation with members of the rural communities.

Sgt Hubble will be coordinating Forest Watch from the National Park offices near Lymington two days a week.

She said: ‘Forest Watch is a great opportunity to improve engagement between key partner agencies and members of the rural communities throughout the New Forest.  Much of the role involves listening to the concerns of landowners and gamekeepers and coordinating a multi-agency approach to address their concerns.  Forest Watch will provide greater collaboration between partners and will address rural issues through a combination of education and enforcement.’

Barrie Foley, Interim Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘It is the first time all the partners have joined forces in this way, to share expertise, information, and resources and to fully coordinate our response to tackle these problems in the Forest. Forest Watch is an example of true partnership. It’s about preventing damaging activities from taking place and keeping the forest safe for people and wildlife, now and in the future.’

Chief Inspector Gary Cooper, the New Forest District Commander, said: ‘Forest Watch is all about identifying rural issues and by bringing the Steering Group together, we will be able to identify and understand the real issues within the New Forest  and start to tackle those issues to improve confidence across all areas of our communities.’

Mr Cooper added: ‘We are grateful to Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency for the substantial financial investment, which allows Hampshire Constabulary to second Sgt Hubble to the National Park Authority to drive the Forest Watch initiative two days each week.’

For more information about Forest Watch scheme, contact Sgt Hubble on 01590 646667, email

To report any non-emergency issues in the New Forest dial 101.


Media Contact:
Hilary Makin
Tel: 01590 646608

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