Six figure funding boost for New Forest communities

Ashurst woods autumn

Published Tuesday 14 October 2014

Projects that help people live more sustainably in the New Forest have received a welcome boost from a community grants scheme.

Over £62,000 of funds were allocated by the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund (SCF) at its latest meeting, bringing in an additional £77,000 of match funding to the National Park area from other sources.

The SCF helps promote sustainable living and working within the National Park, with grants available for up to 75 per cent of a project’s cost.

The latest assessment supported several schemes, including £36,400 for a mobile high capacity wood processor, which will enable forester Matthew England to set up a service assisting landowners in managing their woodlands more effectively. This will help to reduce the 40 per cent of private woodland in the New Forest that is currently unmanaged.

The fund is also helping Hyde War Memorial Parish Hall and Church of the Holy Ascension community centre at Hyde to reduce their energy usage by installing various eco-measures, including new heating systems and LED lighting. Both centres decided to implement the changes after receiving independent energy advice, funded by the SCF.

Dai Morgan, Chairman of Hyde Village Hall Trustees, said: ‘The hall is at the centre of the community of parish of Hyde and the grant will enable us to renew the heating system and provide a more sustainable method of keeping the hall warm and comfortable for the large range of our users.  This has been a longstanding issue for the hall and the award of the grant will allow us to bring the project to a speedy conclusion.’

Heather Clark, Churchwarden at Hyde Church, said: ‘The Church is in a rural area and we had a limited number of options for heating - after much investigation we decided that air source heat pumps were the most efficient, in terms of electricity usage. The grant has enabled us to go ahead with that option and we will have three heat pumps providing the heat for the new building, which will use about one third of the electricity used by more conventional systems - a big environmental gain.’

Grants of up to £50,000 are available and applications are being accepted from anybody planning to launch or expand a project that supports:

  • cultural heritage
  • biodiversity
  • awareness of why the New Forest is special
  • engaging people with the National Park
  • providing  local food and goods
  • reducing carbon emissions in the National Park
  • sustainable transport options including cycling facilities.

To find out more visit

If you would like to discuss a grant application please contact the grants officer on 01590 646634 or email


Notes to Editor:

Sustainable Communities Fund – funds available:

  • For projects requesting  £2,000 or less we can provide up to 100 per cent of project costs
  • For projects requesting over £2,000 we can provide up to 75 per cent of project costs (50 per cent for businesses)
  • Up to £50,000 is available for projects.

Funds for sustainable transport projects are provided by:

  • The ‘Two National Parks’ Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme. This £3.8 million of funding is being used to reduce the impact on traffic in the New Forest and South Downs national parks
  • The New Forest Family Cycling Experiences programme, a £3.57million fund to improve the experience for family cyclists in the New Forest National Park and grow the value of cycling to the local economy.

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 Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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