Christmas comes early for the 'magic six'

Published Thursday 7 December 2006

The New Forest National Park Authority allocated a record £95,000 at its Sustainable Development Fund panel meeting on 5 December-just in time for Christmas.

All of the six projects presented were successful at meeting the priorities of the Fund and at least one of the key National Park purposes.

The Mill at Gordleton received funding for its waterwheel renewal project. When restoration of the waterwheel is complete it will generate at least 25 per cent of the hotel’s electricity requirements.

The Mill will be a flagship scheme, demonstrating the sustainable use of energy in the commercial sector as well as acting as a role model for the other 240 watermills in Hampshire.

Another flagship scheme is the installation of a district heating system at Ipley Manor Farm. The scheme will provide heating and hot water to five dwellings from a woodchip burning boiler based in an existing building on the farm.

Lepe Country Park received a grant to establish a ‘friends of’ voluntary group, to connect people with the Hampshire countryside.

The Environment Centre in Southampton received funding for a BioMap project in the New Forest, which aims to develop the wood fuel market from a supply and demand perspective. The Centre will establish a network of local wood suppliers and hold seminars for land owners on woodland management.

One of the most innovative transport projects to be approved by the Fund so far is the Electric Vehicle Hire scheme based in Burley.

Funding was given to help purchase ten electric-powered pollution-free cars which have a maximum speed of 45mph; five will be located in Burley, three in Brockenhurst and two in Lymington. The cars will be available to hire from spring next year.

The last project to receive funding was ‘Aren’t Birds Brilliant!’ In the New Forest, a partnership scheme from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Forestry Commission and the National Park.

The scheme, based at the Reptile Centre just outside Lyndhurst, will relay live images of rare birds on their nests back to the centre using a remote nest camera. In addition, people will be able to view the live nest-cam images on the websites of the partner organisations and enjoy the experience from the comfort of their home.

Claire Gingell, Sustainable Development Fund Officer, said: ‘All these exciting projects fulfil the twin purposes of the Authority; they have a positive effect on the environmental, economic and community wellbeing of the New Forest.

‘So far we have allocated over £200,000 to projects since the Fund was launched last year. The applications we have received since the Fund was launched have shown the diverse range of skills that New Forest people have and how passionate they are at maintaining the beauty and cultural heritage of this special place.’

If you have an idea for the Sustainable Development Fund, contact Claire on 01590 646664 or email her at


Notes to Editors:
If you require more information on any of the projects mentioned here, contact Claire Gingell, Sustainable Development Officer on 01590 646664 or email her at

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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