Cash boost for New Forest Commoners

Published Tuesday 16 October 2007

The New Forest National Park Authority, the Commoners’ Defence Association and the Verderers have together secured an annual three-fold increase from Defra’s Single Payment scheme.

The New Forest National Park Authority, the Commoners’ Defence Association and the Verderers have together secured an annual three-fold increase from Defra’s Single Payment scheme to boost commoners’ incomes. This is expected to amount to an additional estimated £1.7 million a year from Defra by 2012 and will be paid directly to commoners.

This extra money will have a positive impact in helping commoners to secure the long-term future of this ancient tradition that has shaped the New Forest landscape into what it is today.

Emma Rigglesworth, Head of Sustainable Development at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Single Payment Scheme was outlined as a priority in the Commoning Review as a way the Authority could help the commoning community; the additional  money commoners receive for the next five years will help them invest in safeguarding its future.’

Rick Manley, Chairman of the New Forest Trust, added: ‘This is welcome news and is a responsible and fair outcome for many months of joint and complex negotiations validating the unique situation for New Forest commoners. It will go some way to redressing the financial hurdles that they have had to jump in past years. I would like to thank Emma and her colleagues at the National Park Authority for all their help in achieving this.’

Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, Official Verderer, said: ’This is a swift and very welcome reaction from Defra to the most important and urgent of the Review’s recommendations. The increase in the Single Farm Payment will have a very positive effect on the economics of commoning, and will be a major boost to morale here in the Forest.’

-ends-

Notes to Editors:
For more information about the Single Payment Scheme visit the Defra website

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

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