Environment Minister celebrates National Parks Week in the New Forest

Lord de Mauley

Published Monday 4 August 2014

Environment Minister Lord de Mauley visited the New Forest during National Parks Week and saw a showcase of life in the National Park.

Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for natural environment and science with responsibility for National Parks, heard about the National Park Authority’s work to encourage green transport in the Forest, reducing car journeys while helping to protect the iconic landscape.

During his visit to the New Forest Show last week (31 July) he met business and community leaders who support National Park projects such as the New Forest Tour, which last year saw a record 40,653 passenger journeys on the three open-top bus routes and contributed £660,000 to the local economy.

Alison Barnes, New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive, said: ‘We were also able to tell the Minister about the special qualities of the New Forest – over half of the National Park is designated as being internationally-important for nature conservation – and how it is vital we work together to protect it for the future.

‘A £2.9 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant has been earmarked for the New Forest with 10 organisations busy planning over 20 projects ranging from habitat restoration, to developing Forest skills, and inspiring a new generation to become involved in caring for this precious landscape.’

Natural Environment and Science Minister Lord de Mauley, said: ‘The New Forest National Park is among our greatest natural assets, and a huge contributor to the local economy and tourism industry, which is why it’s important to celebrate its success.

‘I’m grateful to the local businesses, farmers and forest authority officials who I met at the show to discuss how we can protect this unique environment and grow our rural economy to help boost opportunities for the local community.’

The Minister was presented with a hamper of New Forest Marque local produce. Supported by the National Park Authority, the New Forest Marque scheme has around 130 members and gives local businesses a distinctive ‘New Forest’ banner to sell their goods. He also visited the Local Food and Farming Area at the Show to meet some of the producers.

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Picture Caption: Environment Minister Lord de Mauley (centre) with New Forest National Park Authority Member Julian Johnson and Chief Executive Alison Barnes.

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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