New Chairman for New Forest National Park Authority

Dawn at Burley

Published Thursday 26 June 2014

The New Forest National Park Authority has elected former Official Verderer Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre as its new Chairman.

Oliver has been a member of the National Park Authority since May 2012 and Deputy Chairman for the past year. Born in Lyndhurst, he lives and farms in Bramshaw.

New Forest National Park Authority member Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, DL

He was Official Verderer of the New Forest for nine years, in charge of the Verderers court which oversees the ancient practice of commoning. He was also Chairman of the National Trust’s New Forest Committee, President of the New Forest Association and Vice Chairman of the New Forest Trust.

At the Authority’s annual meeting in Lymington today (26 June), he thanked Members for their support.

'I have been involved in Forest affairs for some years now,’ he said, ‘and I have always worked with a very basic rule whenever I am faced with a decision, I simply ask myself the question “Is this good for the Forest?”. I call it the Forest First rule. As a National Park Authority we have duties both to protect the Forest and promote the public’s enjoyment and understanding of it, but I believe very strongly that this can only be achieved properly if it is done in a way that does not threaten the conservation of the Forest. The Forest must come first, and that is what I think the public expects of us.’

Oliver thanked outgoing Chairman Julian Johnson for his commitment over the past four years in the post.

He said: ‘I have been Julian’s Deputy for a year which has given me a glimpse of the considerable work that is required of the Chairman, and we are all very grateful to him for what he has done for the National Park. The post of Chairman needs a firm and experienced hand on the tiller in these formative years, and Julian has provided exactly that, and on behalf of the members and officers of the Authority may I thank him for his leadership.’

Edward Heron was elected as the Authority’s new Deputy Chairman. He is a Hampshire County Councillor and New Forest District Councillor.

National Park Authority members have overall responsibility for making decisions. They are responsible for setting policies and priorities, ensuring efficient and effective use of resources, and that money is well spent. It is their job to represent the interests of the National Park and to balance out any conflicting pressures.

The Authority is made up of:

- 12 members appointed by the county, district, and borough councils with land within the National Park

- six appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

- four selected by Parish Councils, appointed to represent the wider National Park view, not just the interest of their own parish.


Notes to Editor:

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:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646608


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