Your views can help shape the New Forest landscape

Published Tuesday 2 April 2013

The landscape of the New Forest National Park is a mosaic of ancient and ornamental woodland, heaths, rivers and historic villages; it is also the most densely populated national park in England.

To help protect this landscape the New Forest National Park Authority has worked with a host of Forest organisations to create a Landscape Action Plan, which sets out proposals on how look after the landscape, conserve its history and wildlife and help plan for its future, alongside the Landscape Character Assessment that identifies its special qualities.

The plans look at key themes that may affect the New Forest landscape and suggests ways of managing them.

Issues such as conserving tranquillity and dark night skies, flooding and drought and invasive pests and diseases are looked at, as well as the impact of the modern world; such as how a growing population could affect the landscape of the Forest.

The plans also look at what has defined the historic character of the New Forest landscapes and villages, in order to better preserve their qualities, and the features that make them unique.

Marian Spain, New Forest National Park Authority Member and Chairman of the Landscape Action Plan working group, said: ‘This is a great opportunity for New Forest residents and visitors to make a contribution to the future of the landscape of the New Forest National Park and to protect and enhance the special qualities we all value.’

The Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment were prepared by the New Forest National Park Authority with the assistance of the Landscape Strategy Steering Group comprising of representatives from Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Wiltshire County, Test Valley Borough Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.

People are asked to give their views on the draft plans during a six-week public consultation which starts on Tuesday 2 April. You can view the Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment on the consultation pages.

Please send your response to:
Landscape Action Plan, New Forest National Park Authority, Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG; or email

The closing date for the consultation is 5pm on Monday 13 May 2013.
The draft Landscape Action Plan and Landscape Character Assessment will then go to the full National Park Authority meeting on 27 June 2013 to be considered for formal adoption.

*Please note: the consultation period has now been extended to 5pm on 31 July 2013, to be considered for formal adoption at the full Authority meeting on 26 September 2013.


Facts about the New Forest landscape

  • The New Forest has the most extensive area of heathland habitat remaining in Europe – heathland is rarer than rainforest (over 10,000ha)
  • The National Park has 75% of the valley mires in north-western Europe (90 out of 120)
  • Approximately one quarter of the National Park is farmland (14,849 hectares or 57 square miles)
  • There are 22,379 hectares of woodland or 86 square miles
  • The New Forest National Park has 32,103 hectares or 124 square miles of Special Sites of Scientific Interest
  • There are 610 listed buildings ranging from palaces and country houses to timber-frame and cob cottages
  • The population of the New Forest is nearly 35,000 people, making it the most densely populated National Park in the UK, with 61 people per square kilometre.

About the New Forest National Park Authority
Protect - Enjoy - Prosper
The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contacts:

Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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