Draft cycle events charter for the New Forest published

Published Thursday 1 May 2014

A New Forest charter for cycle event organisers has been compiled by a group of over 20 organisations.

The charter has been posted in draft form on the New Forest National Park Authority’s website, and the Authority will wait for feedback from parish councils, Authority members and New Forest District Council before the final version is published.

The Cycling Liaison Group was set up following concerns about the impact of mass participation cycle events on the New Forest National Park.

The Group has previously agreed a revised cycling code for the New Forest, which encourages responsible cycling.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the National Park Authority, said: ‘The National Park Authority convened this group to encourage responsible cycling which is in keeping with the special qualities and purposes of the National Park.

‘The draft Charter confirms the central role played by the New Forest Public Events and Safety Advisory Group – which brings together the Highway Authority, District Council, the Police and others -  through which individual events are assessed in advance and monitored.’

The draft Charter provides guidance on:

  • planning cycle events
  • liaising with local communities, landowners and organisations
  • advising participants in advance about appropriate behaviour
  • responsibilities of event organisers during and after the event (for example: effective marshalling, signage, litter picking, mechanisms for feedback).

Nigel Matthews said: ‘Obviously the charter does not supersede the Highway Code but the New Forest is unique in that it is a working forest with forestry, farming and equestrian activity on its narrow roads and tracks and free-roaming animals. Great care is needed to avoid unnecessary conflict and ensure the safety of all.

‘A number of forest organisations, cycling organisations and cycle event companies are members of the Cycling Liaison Group and have helped draw up the charter, so we are confident that event organisers will find it useful and implement its recommendations. We will review the charter after a year.’

He added: ‘The New Forest National Park Authority owns no land, does not manage any tracks or roads and has no authority over other organisations.

‘However we have been pleased to play a key role in encouraging groups to work together for the benefit of the National Park, its residents and visitors.’

To view the draft charter for cycle event organisers go to www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/cycle-charter.


Notes to Editor:

Members of the Cycling Liaison Group include:
New Forest District Council (NFDC) Safety Advisory Group
NFDC Environmental Health
NFDC Leisure & Communities
NFDC Employment and Tourism
Hampshire Constabulary
Hampshire County Council Highway Authority
New Forest National Park Authority
Forestry Commission          
Cycle hire business
Cycle event organiser
Cycle event organiser
Cycle event organiser
Cycle event organiser
Cycle event venue
British Cycling
CTC / Hampshire Cycling
Cyclists' Touring Club
Sustrans & Cycle Working Group
New Forest Tourism Association
New Forest Access Forum
National Trust
Natural England
New Forest Association
Commoners Defence Association
New Forest Association of Local Councils
New Forest Equestrian Association
Equine Forum
National Escort Group

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:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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