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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus updates

PUBLISHED ON: 6 NOVEMBER 2020

Our priority remains the safety of the 35,000 people living and working in the National Park and everyone who enjoys the outdoors here.

The Government advice is to stay at home, except for specific purposes. It says: ‘You can spend time in an outdoor public place for exercise or recreation either alone or with:

  • members of your household and/or support bubble
  • one other person, plus any children under five
  • children you are informally caring for as part of a childcare bubble.

‘There is no limit to the amount of time you can spend outside for exercise.

‘You should minimise the distance you travel in order to access green spaces, and avoid leaving your local area. Not everyone has easy access to green space, and you can therefore travel a short distance to exercise if necessary.’ Please note social distancing remains in place.

When out and about

The New Forest is a unique place with rare wildlife and free-roaming livestock. Please help us care for this special place by following the New Forest code:

  • Keep your distance from the animals – don’t feed or touch them
  • Take home litter and dog waste
  • No fires or barbecues
  • Keep dogs under control. Don’t let dogs approach or chase any animals
  • Park only in car parks
  • No wild camping
  • Stick to the permitted cycle tracks
  • Drive with care – animals on the road!
  • Help wildlife by keeping to the main tracks.

When out in the New Forest National Park you may come across anti-social behaviour or incidents that require an immediate response.

Most incidents need to be reported to the landowner rather than the National Park Authority. Please visit report a problem page to find out who to contact.

Visitor facilities in the National Park

The many Forest car parks and toilets are run and managed by Forestry England. Some smaller car parks are closed for planned seasonal maintenance. For the latest information, visit Forestry England’s website.

The car parks in the villages and on the coast are run and managed by New Forest District Council. Find out about charges and locations plus toilet facilities and opening hours.

New Forest National Park Authority services

Planning service update

We’re continuing to process planning applications as before and if you are submitting a new application, please do so electronically through the Planning Portal website: www.planningportal.co.uk.

We are unable to deal with planning applications that are received by post as our reception remains closed. We are continuing to progress pre-application enquiries but can only accept payment by credit card or online payment. We are currently able to take card payments between 10am – 12pm each day by phone (quoting the relevant case number) on 01590 646674. Please do not send cheques as we are unable to process them.

With regard to any non-payment related matters, our main switchboard number will continue to have an automated message and voicemails won’t be picked up, so please email instead. Please send all general planning enquiries to dev.control@newforestnpa.gov.uk.

Supporting local businesses and communities

The New Forest is home to a wide number of independent businesses providing high quality and unusual products, services and experiences. For most, the run-up to Christmas is their most important trading time which sustains them throughout the year.

Here’s how you can support them:

  • The New Forest Marque is a local food and produce scheme set up to champion businesses who pride themselves on producing and providing food, drinks and craft with clearly defined New Forest provenance. Many are providing takeaways, deliveries and online sales for unusual Christmas gifts.
  • Do your food shopping from independent suppliers, butchers, greengrocers and farm shops – this way you will support a variety of local businesses all in one go.
  • Local communities such as Lyndhurst and Emery Down have also created a Christmas ‘Online’ Market to help support their local businesses.
  • Why not give a gift voucher from independents like beauty salons, restaurants and hairdressers for Christmas to help support them while they are closed?
  • Small businesses benefit from your like, follow, share or mention on social media. It gives them credibility and massively boosts the chances of them being found by others. You can join groups such as New Forest Local Business Group which promotes tradespeople, sole traders and local professionals based within the New Forest and local area.

For information and support available from your local council, visit their coronavirus webpages: New Forest District Council, Test Valley Borough Council or Wiltshire Council.

New Forest business support is available from New Forest District Council and New Forest Business Partnership.

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