Minister for National Parks visits the New Forest

Published Monday 12 November 2007

Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister for the South East, visited the New Forest National Park.

Jonathan Shaw MP, Minister for Marine, Landscape and Rural Affairs at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Minister for the South East, visited the New Forest National Park on Monday 12 November. Mr Shaw is the Minister with responsibility for National Parks.

The Minister spent the day finding out first-hand about the unique challenges faced by the New Forest National Park and the achievements of the National Park Authority’s first 18 months.

Leading members and senior officers from the National Park Authority took Mr Shaw on a tour including the tranquil north of the New Forest National Park, visits to the New Forest Centre and the Verderers’ Court in Lyndhurst, and a final stop at the Authority’s headquarters near Lymington where he met staff.  Mr Shaw also met representatives from the Forestry Commission, New Forest District Council and the Head Agister, Jonathan Gerrelli.

The visit covered issues ranging from conservation of traditional Forest landscapes to development pressures and from partnership schemes to funding matters.  While he was in the Forest, Mr Shaw lent his support to the innovative new ‘emergency hotlines card’ to help tackle animal accidents.

Mr Shaw, said: ‘I was impressed by the good work being done and the progress made in protecting the New Forest's unique agriculture, its landscape, wildlife and heritage.

‘I congratulate everyone involved in helping to safeguard the New Forest's natural beauty and contributing to a sustainable future for local communities.’

Clive Chatters, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We were delighted to welcome the Minister to England’s newest National Park, especially as his remit includes both National Parks and the South East.

‘Some of the challenges we face in the New Forest National Park, such as development pressures from outside our boundary and funding to support commoning, are not challenges we can tackle alone.   This visit was an ideal opportunity to discuss those key issues with our Minister.

‘We hope, following his visit, that the Minister will become a real “champion” for the Forest in the South East.’

-ends-

Media contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650, email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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