Minister praises New Forest National Park for local economy boost

New Forest Show 2013

Published Wednesday 7 August 2013

The farming minister has praised the value of the New Forest National Park in supporting local businesses.

David Heath MP spoke after his visit to the New Forest Show during National Parks Week (29 July to 4 August ), when he saw first-hand how the New Forest National Park Authority has helped support local producers.

A young commoner and a local farm shop were given royal recognition at the Show by the Earl and Countess of Wessex when they were presented with the first Country Land & Business Association (CLA) and New Forest National Park Authority awards.

Lee Winter from Fritham was awarded the Young Farmer & Commoner award whilst Jane Overall and Andy Alvis from Setley Ridge Farm Shop were handed the Best Supporter of Local Produce award.

The farming minister also praised the National Park’s support for the 130 members of the New Forest Marque scheme, which has helped create local jobs and gives businesses a distinctive ‘New Forest’ banner to sell their goods.

David Heath, minister for food and agriculture, said: ‘National parks like the New Forest are some of the most treasured places in the country and ninety million people visit them every year to enjoy what they have to offer. This supports thousands of businesses, such as the New Forest Marque food producers, which is great for the local economy.’

Alison Barnes, chief executive for the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We were delighted that during his visit, David Heath was able to see how National Park Authorities help make a difference to local businesses during these tough economic times. By working closely with our partners, parishes and business community here in the forest, we’ve helped provide opportunities for promotion and growth.’

Other highlights for the New Forest National Park during National Parks Week included:

  • The National Park being featured on ITV’s Daybreak breakfast programme with weather presenter Laura Tobin
  • The launch of the Beach Bus – a great value new service to take families to the beach at Lepe instead of travelling by car
  • And a holiday competition with sustainable tourism website Our Land, which created more than 1,000 entrants for stays in the New Forest and South Downs National Parks.

To find out more about the New Forest Marque go to www.newforestmarque.co.uk or to discover the Beach Bus route and timetables visit www.thebeachbus.info

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Picture caption: The farming minister visited the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) stand at the New Forest Show with (from l-r) NFNPA chief executive Alison Barnes,  minister for food and agriculture David Heath MP and NFNPA chairman Julian Johnson.

Notes to Editors: The Marque® – a sign of quality.

  • it contains at least 25 per cent New Forest produce
  • it has met stringent standards according to its particular speciality (for example, meat producers must show that high standards of welfare and good husbandry have been applied at all times)

Hosted by the New Forest National Park Authority the award scheme was created to:

  • give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce
  • encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances
  • help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment. 

For more information on the New Forest Marque and who is part of the Marque visit www.newforestmarque.co.uk

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 www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639
Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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