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How we are managing recreation

How we are managing recreation

In 2019 New Forest organisations agreed a suite of 22 strategic actions to manage recreation across the National Park and beyond.

Covid-19 response

As lockdown restrictions eased and increased numbers of people visited the New Forest, we worked with partner organisations and quickly responded with an action plan with more staff and volunteers out and about, new signage and wide promotion of the New Forest Code – preventing wildfires, reducing verge parking and keeping litter to a minimum.

The 22 strategic actions were developed by the Recreation Management Stategy Steering Group based on suggestions made by the public during consultations held in 2017 and 2018.

They fall into three different categories:

  • actions that continue and expand on existing work to help people understand how special the New Forest is, avoid negative impacts and benefit from spending time outside
  • actions relating to specific sites and routes that will help reduce impacts and improve the recreational experience
  • actions aimed at increasing the level of funding available for recreation management, developing an evidence-based approach and keeping the strategy ‘live’

Read the full list of strategic actions and what will be done to implement them.

The most significant actions that require a strong partnership approach by multiple organisations are being incorporated and delivered through an updated Partnership Plan for the National Park. These include:

  • developing a spatial plan for where recreation should be encouraged across the New Forest and surrounding areas
  • agreeing a strategy to facilitate changes to the location and capacity of car parking on the open Forest and adjacent commons
  • developing a strategic approach to mitigate the potential impacts associated with increasing recreational pressures arising from planned new housing and visitor accommodation development on the internationally designated habitats
  • increasing the level of funding available for recreation management so that it is sufficient to address both existing and future needs
  • using appropriate and proportionate enforcement strategies to deter illegal use of the Forest.

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