Hundreds respond to Future Forest consultation

Nigel Matthews talks to residents at Fordingbridge future forest drop in session

Published Wednesday 12 July 2017

Over 800 people have given their views on managing recreation in the New Forest in a consultation by all the main organisations with a remit for caring for the Forest and helping people enjoy it.

The Forestry Commission, Natural England, Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and the Verderers have asked the National Park Authority to conduct the Future Forest consultation on behalf of the statutory bodies.

They are asking people to complete an online survey, suggesting priorities for managing outdoor recreation across the whole of the New Forest and surrounding areas. The survey is at

A series of drop-in sessions have been held with the remaining session this Monday (17 July) at Sway Village Hall from 2pm to 8pm. People can also find out more at the National Park stand at the New Forest Show, Brockenhurst, from 25 to 27 July.

The aim of the Future Forest consultation is to:

  • provide the best recreational experience for local people and visitors
  • protect the very thing people come to see – the spectacular, yet fragile landscape which is a haven for many rare wildlife species
  • ensure limited resources are spent wisely.

The first stage of the process is to update the 2010 Recreation Management Strategy, with the ‘call for views’ consultation on priorities open until 13 August.

Deputy Surveyor Bruce Rothnie, of the Forestry Commission, said: ‘The Forestry Commission shares the view of other Forest organisations that it’s time for all of us who use the Forest to take responsibility and assist in prioritising current and future challenges set out in the Recreation Management Strategy.

'The degree of joint working between partners and communities is hugely encouraging, ensuring that future decisions will be well advised and informed.’

Consultation timetable

  • 19 June to 13 August 2017: An initial ‘call for views’ to ask people about the overall rationale for managing recreation across the whole of the New Forest and surrounding areas, and to guide the development of revised and prioritised actions.
  • Autumn/winter 2017/18: The update to the Strategy is drafted to reflect the feedback. 
  • 2018: Public consultation on the draft update.

- Ends -

Notes to photo editor:
Nigel Matthews (left), National Park Authority Head of Recreation Management and Learning, talks to residents at Fordingbridge Future Forest drop-in session.

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 Contact:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager

New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646608


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