close x

Join the debate

Join the debate

Some big issues are facing the New Forest in the coming years.

The organisations with the main remit for both protecting the National Park and enabling people to enjoy it need your help to develop a new and updated suite of focused actions so that, across the National Park and beyond, we can achieve a net gain for the working and natural landscape and for the recreational experience, by:

  • protecting the spectacular, yet fragile, wildlife-rich landscape that people come to see
  • managing recreation for local people and our visitors
  • use limited resources wisely.

The Forestry Commission, Natural England, Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and the Verderers have asked the National Park Authority to conduct the joint consultation. 

The current approach is described in the Recreation Management Strategy 2010-2030.

Future Forest draft actions consultation 2018

New Forest organisations with a remit for protecting the fragile landscape while enabling people to enjoy it sustainably are now working up proposals to ensure the Forest is fit to face the future.

With the help of feedback received in a previous round of consultation in 2017, seven distinct objectives for managing recreation in the New Forest were identified (see below).

We asked for your views on how to put them into practice with a set of 25 draft actions.

This consultation is now closed.

Call for views consultation 2017

Over 1,500 individuals and 50 organisations responded to an initial ‘call for views’ consultation in summer 2017 to help us prioritise the main tasks. We also considered other information, including feedback from user groups and forums, available data and evidence, and assessments of existing work programmes, policies and regulations.

This first phase resulted in seven objectives being identified:

Raising awareness and understanding – ensuring recreation is sustainable, wherever it takes place

  • Objective 1: Convey the things that make the New Forest special to both visitors and local people in more consistent and effective ways, so that they understand the importance of making responsible recreation choices.
  • Objective 2: Address significant and/or widespread negative impacts caused by recreation in the most appropriate, proportionate and effective ways.
  • Objective 3: Reduce the barriers that limit participation in beneficial outdoor recreation among those who need it most.

Sustainable recreation in the right places – managing where it happens

  • Objective 4: Achieve a net gain for the New Forest’s working and natural landscape and for the recreational experience by influencing where recreation takes place.

Finding funding – and using it effectively

  • Objective 5: Increase the level of funding available for recreation management so that it is sufficient to address both existing and upcoming needs.

Data and evidence – to help guide the work

  • Objective 6: Collate data and evidence to help inform the ongoing management of recreation.

Adaptive monitoring and implementation – keeping the strategy alive

  • Objective 7: Regularly review progress against agreed recreation management actions and adapt forward plans to protect the special qualities of the National Park and enable people to enjoy and benefit from them.

Read the conclusions from the 2017 consultation in the findings report and the next steps report.


  • 18 June – 12 August 2018: public consultation on the draft actions
  • Autumn 2018: analysis of responses
  • Early 2019: publish Recreation Management Strategy update with lead organisations for agreed actions
  • 2019/2020: progress with actions.
Keep in touch

Sign up for the latest updates by subscribing to our email newsletter.

You can keep up to date on Facebook or on Twitter via @newforestnpa using #FutureForest.

National Park Chairman


'We must all work together to manage recreation and ensure the Forest is fit for the future.'

Newsletter Image





Six free walking routes when you sign up for New Forest Newsletter

Key To Map

Choose the categories you would like to display on the map.