A New Forest welcome for Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage


Published Thursday 26 May 2016

Tourism, heritage and local food were on the menu when David Evennett MP visited the New Forest today (Thursday 26 May).

The Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage heard how the New Forest is a champion for sustainable tourism – encouraging visitors to help care for and understand more about the National Park which is a world capital for wildlife.

The Minister met National Park, tourism and local food leaders at the Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst, and was told that there are 13.5 million visits to the National Park each year.

They discussed how the New Forest Marque local produce scheme supports local farmers and commoners who look after the landscape, while also helping to give tourists a unique New Forest experience.

The National Park Authority recently completed a Heritage Lottery Fund project to record how the Forest played a vital part of the war effort in World War II. The Minister was told how the Balmer Lawn Hotel was where General Montgomery and Eisenhower met to make the final arrangements for the D-Day landings.

In March the Government announced a new Eight Point Plan for National Parks to further secure the future of our iconic protected landscapes.

Sport, Tourism and Heritage Minister David Evennett said: ‘National Parks are an important part of the English tourism offer. They are not only beautiful spaces for visitors to enjoy but protect and conserve our natural landscape.

‘The New Forest National Park is doing impressive work in promoting sustainable tourism so this stunning scenery can be enjoyed for generations to come.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘The New Forest has been at the forefront of sustainable tourism for many years, encouraging people to leave their cars at home, to care for the Forest while they are here, to stay longer and spend more in the local economy.

‘Tourism is vital for businesses and jobs in the area. However we need to ensure that it does not damage the very thing our visitors come to enjoy – a beautiful, fragile landscape which is highly protected.   

‘We continue to work closely with Government and our partners to keep the National Park a living, working Forest able to face future challenges.’


Notes to Photo Editor:

Left to right: Balmer Lawn Hotel owner Alison Wilson; Anthony Climpson, New Forest District Council Employment and Tourism Manager; Tourism Minister David Evennett MP; New Forest Marque Chairman Jane Overall; New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre and Chief Executive Alison Barnes; and Balmer Lawn Hotel owner Chris Wilson discussing tourism and local produce.  

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 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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