Working together to manage recreation
No single organisation is responsible for managing recreation across the New Forest, it’s vital that everyone plays their part.
Across the New Forest National Park and beyond, numerous organisations provide recreation facilities, especially those that own or manage land or run businesses.
The National Park Authority helps in a range of ways, including accessing and providing additional funding and ‘signposting’ people to locations that best meet their needs and interests.
We led the public consultations of 2017 and 2018 that resulted in the current suite of 22 agreed strategic actions. We now facilitate forums and working groups to help ensure these actions are being progressed.
There are regular discussions on topics such as access, dog walking, cycling, horse riding, reducing animal accidents on the roads, litter and reducing the feeding and petting of commoners’ animals.
The key forum for discussing overall strategic opportunities is the Recreation Management Strategy Steering Group which has representatives from Forestry England, Hampshire County Council, National Park Authority, New Forest District Council, Test Valley Borough Council, Natural England and the Verderers.
There is also a wider Advisory Group which has representatives from the above organisations, plus Commoners Defence Association, New Forest Equine Forum, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, National Trust, New Forest Association, New Forest Dog Owners Group, New Forest Access Forum, Go New Forest CIC, Ringwood & Fordingbridge Footpath Society, New Forest Cycle Working Group and RSPB.