Warm welcome for cyclists and walkers in the New Forest

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Published Thursday 26 May 2016

With its 140 miles of tracks where you can enjoy easy walking and cycling and see thousands of free-roaming ponies, donkeys and cattle, the New Forest has always been a great place to explore.

But now it’s just got even better.

As part of its commitment to making the New Forest’s 193,000 acres as car-free as possible the destination is launching its New Forest Walkers and Cyclists Approved accreditation scheme in partnership with the New Forest National Park Authority.


It works like this.

Nearly 70 hotels, guest houses, B&B’s and self-catering cottages – find them where you see these logos on our website – have signed up to the welcome scheme to assure walkers and cyclists they’ll receive all the help and assistance they need to enjoy the perfect New Forest break.

Walkers staying or using approved accommodation can expect it to provide facilities for the cleaning and drying of outdoor clothing and footwear, and either clothes washing and drying facilities, laundry service, or details of the nearest launderette facilities. It will also help with pre-ordered packed lunches, information about local cafes and pubs, and maps and books for reference on walking in the area and details of local and regional walking routes.

For cyclists this scheme ensures hotels and holiday accommodation provide a lockable, undercover area for safe overnight storage of bicycles and panniers, facilities for washing down bikes and outdoor clothing, and an emergency cycle and puncture repair kit, as well as a number of other services for those on two-wheels.

The scheme was launched yesterday (Wednesday May 25) with a circular guided walk for accommodation providers from Balmer Lawn through woodland near Brockenhurst. Brockenhurst station is just 89 minutes from London Waterloo and the New Forest, which receives more than 10 million visitor days each year, is just 2 minutes from the end of the M27 motorway.

Designated a National Park in 2005, The New Forest is also Britain’s biggest site of Special Scientific Interest, as well as being home to 19 Conservation Areas and 622 scheduled ancient monuments. Promoting responsible walking and cycling helps ease the pressure on this delicate ecology and magical environment.

The New Forest’s Destination Manager, Anthony Climpson, said: 'We are delighted to announce the start of this scheme in time for summer 2016. All of us who live and work here want to see the beautiful forest preserved.

'Encouraging more of our visitors to leave their car behind, or travel around on foot or by bike means they will not only have a closer encounter with the forest’s incredible biodiversity but it will also help ease traffic pressure and make forest life easier for everyone.'

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive, Alison Barnes, said: ‘Walking and cycling are the most popular ways to experience the special qualities of the New Forest National Park; this new scheme reassures visitors that their accommodation is ready to welcome them when they arrive.  Businesses in the scheme have committed to provide the facilities and the knowledge and information to ensure that walkers and cyclists have a great experience on their visit and at the same time, learn how to care for this wonderful place.’

For where to stay, what to see and do in the New Forest see www.thenewforest.co.uk

Issued by:

Louise Neville, Polymedia, 01329 822866
louiseneville@polymediapr.co.uk

For more information, go to www.thenewforest.co.uk

For further information or pictures please contact Polymedia, thenewforest@polymediapr.co.uk

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