New Forest organisations come out top in Hampshire Commuter Challenge

Commuter Challenge Winners

Published Wednesday 17 July 2013

Staff at the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council have each won an award after leaving their cars at home and travelling to work by walking, cycling and catching a train.

The New Forest National Park Authority finished top of the leaderboard in the medium organisation category of My Journey Hampshire’s Commuter Challenge. New Forest District Council came first in the large organisation category based on staff at its Appletree Court offices.

A quarter of 80 staff took part at the National Park Authority and around one fifth of 370 employees took part at the council. Together they saved 8,519 car miles during May by commuting by bike, train or car sharing. About 742kgs of carbon emissions were avoided and 117,147 calories were burned - the equivalent of 464 doughnuts.

The Commuter Challenge supports the National Park Authority’s aim to encourage greener travel within and to the New Forest National Park over the next two years, an important part of the £3.8m Local Sustainable Transport Fund initiative.

Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the Authority who walked to work during May, said: ‘We were really pleased to see so much enthusiasm for the Commuter Challenge. Colleagues taking on the challenge become fitter by walking or cycling, and experienced at close hand the natural beauty of the National Park as they travelled into work. Many are now much more aware of their travel options, how they can do their bit to reduce congestion and carbon and will use their cars less frequently.’

Councillor Christine Ford, Chairman of New Forest District Council, said: ‘Making changes to the way we travel is one of the easiest ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. I hope that New Forest residents will be inspired by the efforts of our staff and swap their car for a greener mode of transport when possible.’

Kathy Azopardi, My Journey Commuter Challenge Co-ordinator, said: ‘Everybody likes a challenge, and we're so pleased the Commuter Challenge was taken up so enthusiastically at the New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council. We had a great response across the county with nearly 2,000 participants covering a distance of 264,052 miles. Hopefully even more will rise to the challenge next year.’

The Commuter Challenge is set to return next year, with further discounts on rail and bus tickets.

Discover more about car free travel in the New Forest National Park at or find out more about sustainable transport in Hampshire at


Picture caption: New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) and New Forest District Council (NFDC) staff with the My Journey Hampshire Commuter Challenge trophies at Lymington Town Hall (from l-r) NPNPA Communications Officer Sion Donovan, NFDC Chairman Cllr Christine Ford, NFNPA Chief Executive Alison Barnes, NFDC Purchasing Assistant Paul Guilbert and My Journey Hampshire Commuter Challenge Co-ordinator Kathy Azopardi.

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.

Visit to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639

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