Authority consults on its 20-year vision for the National Park

Published Tuesday 19 August 2008

Two of the most important plans for the New Forest in a generation will be published in draft for consultation this autumn: the National Park Plan and the Recreation Management Strategy.

A development and consultation process lasting more than a year involving 70 organisations and a series of workshops is now complete. The next stage is a public consultation on the draft Plans that brings together all of that work.

The Park Plan is a double first – the first National Park Management Plan for the New Forest and the first time such a plan has been combined in one document with key planning policies known as the Core Strategy.

The final Plan will go to the National Park Authority for approval in 2009 before being published.

Clive Chatters, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Park Plan is the blueprint for the New Forest over the next 20 years, it looks at the big picture and the big issues that the Forest faces. It provides a detailed guide for all of those who are working to care for the New Forest National Park, not just the Authority itself.

‘The Plan describes how National Park purposes can be achieved in the New Forest by tackling development, transport and recreation pressures, climate change and conservation priorities, and safeguarding it as a fabulous place for wildlife and people.’

The Recreation Management Strategy focuses on how people can enjoy, understand and care for the New Forest in ways which protect the very things that make the National Park special.

That is why recreation – walking, dog-walking, cycling, horse-riding, camping and a host of other outdoor pursuits – has been given its own strategy.

The Recreation Management Strategy supports the Park Plan by going into more detail on the subject, reflecting its significance both to those who enjoy recreation in the Forest and those who have concerns about its impact.  The Strategy is being developed in parallel with the Park Plan.

Clive Chatters, added: ‘We’re England’s smallest and most densely-populated National Park with more than 15 million people within a 90-minute drive. We have the highest level of nature conservation interest of any Park in England, so it is inevitable that managing recreation effectively will be a high priority in the New Forest.

‘As a result, even though we are the newest National Park Authority, we are the first to give such priority to a specific strategy for managing recreation, which contains some far-reaching proposals about campsites, car parks and roads.

‘We believe the Strategy strikes the right balance between enabling people to enjoy quiet recreation in the National Park and safeguarding qualities such as diversity of wildlife and tranquillity, that make the place special to them in the first place, but we want to hear your views.’

If you would like to comment on the drafts of the Park Plan and the Recreation Management Strategy they are available on the National Park website at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/consultations or in printed form from the Authority’s offices at South Efford House, near Lymington. Reference copies and questionnaires will be available to view and complete at the New Forest Centre, New Forest District Council offices, Salisbury District Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and Wiltshire County Council.

Theconsultation deadline is Friday 31 October 2008.

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Media Contact:

Karen Evans
Communications Officer
New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646650

Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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