Coronavirus updatesPUBLISHED ON: 23 MARCH 2020
People warned not to travel to the New Forest
The New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire Police and partners are warning people not to travel to the New Forest for exercise this weekend.
The Government has told everyone to stay at home to protect our NHS and save lives. Only essential travel is allowed and we should exercise direct from our own homes.
Police are patrolling the Forest and coastline, checking why people are in car parks and advising them to go home if their travel is not essential.
This is especially important this weekend, as due to the recent warm weather, the whole area is now under an amber warning because of the risk of wild fires.
New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘All visitor facilities, toilets, cafes, campsites and main car parks are closed.
‘It is vital for everyone’s safety and to protect our NHS at this critical time that we stay at home. Travelling to or within the National Park in order to take exercise is not essential travel and adds unnecessary pressure on limited local services and emergency personnel, putting themselves and our communities at risk.
‘Everyone acting now by following the Government’s restrictions will make a crucial difference in the weeks ahead.’
For everyone missing the New Forest, please follow @newforestnpa on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for regular updates and to enjoy views from around the National Park until the restrictions are lifted.
Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, no one should be travelling to the New Forest National Park.
Government guidance is:
- Only go outside for food, medical reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home.
We are allowed one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household. We should do this from our homes in the best way we can.
The Government has stipulated that: ‘Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.’
Visitor facilities, main car parks, toilets, camping, country parks and attractions are all now closed. Wild camping is illegal in the New Forest.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the New Forest when this crisis is over.
In the meantime please keep in touch with us through regular updates on our website and on our social media channels.
In line with Government advice and to keep our staff and customers safe, our reception is now closed and all events and meetings are cancelled or postponed until further notice. However we can still be contacted via email email@example.com.
We continue to process planning applications which have already been submitted and if you are submitting a new application, please do so electronically through the Planning Portal website. We will not be able to deal with planning applications that are received by post. We are continuing to progress pre-application enquiries but can only accept payment by credit card or online payment. For all general planning enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest government guidance concerning planning appeals, please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-inspectorate-guidance.
We will keep this page updated. You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @newforestnpa.
2pm, 23 March
Essential travel guidance from Government:
‘Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence. Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.’
Moors Valley update:
‘Moors Valley is now fully closed to all visitors until further notice.’
Lepe Country Park update:
‘Please DO NOT DRIVE to Lepe as there is NO PARKING on site and all facilities at the park are now CLOSED (including the play areas, toilets etc). The open spaces at the park are accessible for LOCAL visitors to walk round if they are following the latest government guidance on social distancing.‘
1pm, 23 March
For updates on New Forest District Council services including community information, waste, support to businesses, housing, planning, benefits, and council tax, please see www.newforest.gov.uk/coronavirus.
12pm, 23 March
Statement from Forestry England: Access to the New Forest
This weekend, right across the country we have seen large numbers of people visiting public outdoor spaces, and it has not always being able to achieve social distancing. Covid-19 means that this is a threat to people’s health.
Our priority is to keep the public and our staff safe and as a result we are in the process of closing all main car parks in the New Forest from today. The car parks affected are those at Bolderwood, Wilverley, Blackwater, Whitefield Moor, Anderwood, Hatchet Pond and New Forest Reptile Centre. All of our public facilities within the New Forest are already closed including public toilets, visitor cabins, and BBQ facilities. Campsites are also closed and we would like to remind people that wild camping is illegal anywhere on the New Forest or in its car parks.
Smaller car parks in the Forest remain open for now. We have taken the decision not to close these for several reasons. We are concerned that closures would lead to large amounts of parking on verges and open ground causing real and irreversible damage to the landscape. Parking at locations away from the network of tracks would also lead to large numbers of people walking across the open forest putting wildlife at huge risk, particularly as it’s the start of the ground nesting bird season in these areas.
We will keep the situation under constant review and may close all car parks with immediate effect if the government’s guidelines on social distancing are not being adhered to or if the advice from Public Health England changes. Local people still have access to the countryside but we ask everyone to ensure they follow government guidance on avoiding all non-essential travel and social distancing to help restrict the spread of coronavirus.
We ask people to please follow Government guidance around social distancing and non essential travel.
All Camping in the Forest campsites are now closed.
Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.
In line with Government advice, our reception is now closed and all events and meetings are cancelled or postponed.
However we can be contacted via email and phone.
We are aiming to process planning applications which have already been submitted and if you are submitting a new application, we are reviewing the services we will be able to deliver.
General enquiries: email@example.com Tel: 01590 646600
Planning enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will keep this page updated.
You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram @newforestnpa.