Call for landmark shift to ‘Re:New Forest’ and transform the National Park over the next five yearsPUBLISHED ON: 26 JULY 2022
Organisations caring for the New Forest National Park are calling on communities, businesses and partners to join them in tackling the nature and climate emergencies.
The Re:New Forest approach sets out a vision of a New Forest moving towards net zero, with wildlife habitats restored, thriving local communities, and more people caring for the Forest and benefiting from connecting with nature.
It looks at five key themes – climate, nature, people, place and partnership – and was developed thanks to input from hundreds of people over the last two years.
Re:New Forest is the campaign fronting the New Forest National Park Partnership Plan – a joint strategy to manage the National Park up to 2027 and drive large-scale improvements and investment.
The Plan has been jointly produced by Forestry England, Hampshire County Council, Natural England, the New Forest National Park Authority, New Forest District Council, the Verderers, Test Valley Borough Council and Wiltshire Council. It’s a strategy for the National Park as a place, and not just the organisations who have prepared it.
The official launch was at the National Park Authority’s stand at the New Forest Show on Tuesday 26 July, with New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis.
New Forest National Park Authority Chair Prof Gavin Parker said creating a thriving Forest supporting communities, commoning and land management for the benefit of the environment is at the heart of the Plan.
He said: ‘In this joint Partnership Plan we set out an ambitious vision for the New Forest National Park’s future.
‘There are already some fantastic examples here of nature recovering, of communities living more sustainably, of businesses reducing their impact on the climate and of projects to improve our health and wellbeing.
‘An urgent step change is needed – many agree that now is the time to redouble our efforts to tackle the twin challenges of our age – the decline of nature and biodiversity and the fundamentally connected threat of the climate crisis.
‘We would like to thank everyone who gave their views during the preparation stages. We want to continue the conversation and call on everyone to take significant and urgent action with us to “Re:New Forest” over the next five years.’
Craig Harrison, Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest for Forestry England, said: ‘The New Forest is a truly special landscape and an internationally recognised haven for nature. It is also a location facing increasing pressure and significant changes will be needed to ensure it can survive and thrive well into the future. Achieving this requires all of us from the local community, business, forest groups and authorities to work together.’
Official Verderer Lord Willie Manners said: ‘Commoning is vital to the conservation of the New Forest and the Verderers welcome the support for commoning in the Partnership Plan.’
Councillor Jan Warwick, Executive Member for Climate Change and Sustainability at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘The launch of this campaign is very timely coming, as it does, during our Year of Climate Resilience. I am proud of the role that the County Council has played in the development of the New Forest National Park Management Plan which we were pleased to endorse. We wholeheartedly support the guiding principles set out by the Plan that will steer a course for supporting local residents and preserving the New Forest in the face of climate change for the next five years, that will reap benefits for many years after.’
To find out more about Re:New Forest and how you can get involved visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/partnershipplan.