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Last chance to have your say on proposals for managing recreation in the New Forest

Last chance to have your say on proposals for managing recreation in the New Forest


Hundreds of people have given their views on draft plans to both protect the New Forest and cater for people enjoying the area.

The proposals in the Future Forest online survey have been designed to:

  • protect the spectacular, yet fragile, wildlife-rich landscape that people come to see
  • manage recreation for local people and visitors
  • use limited resources wisely.

The survey at closes on 12 August.

The consultation has been developed by the Recreation Management Strategy Steering Group of the main organisations with a remit for managing recreation in the New Forest: the Forestry Commission, Verderers, National Park Authority, Hampshire County Council, Natural England and New Forest District Council.

Eleven other groups and organisations on the wider Recreation Management Strategy Advisory Group also gave their input to the draft proposals.

With the help of feedback received in a first round of consultation last year, seven objectives for managing recreation in the New Forest were identified:

  • Convey the things that make the New Forest special to both visitors and local people in more consistent and effective ways, so that they understand the importance of making responsible recreation choices.
  • Address significant and/or widespread negative impacts caused by recreation in the most appropriate, proportionate and effective ways.
  • Reduce the barriers that limit participation in beneficial outdoor recreation among those who need it most.
  • Achieve a net gain for the New Forest’s working and natural landscape and for the recreational experience by influencing where recreation takes place.
  • Increase the level of funding available for recreation management so that it is sufficient to address both existing and upcoming needs.
  • Collate data and evidence to help inform the ongoing management of recreation.
  • Regularly review progress against agreed recreation management actions and adapt forward plans to protect the special qualities of the National Park and enable people to enjoy and benefit from them.

Now the steering group is asking for views on how to put these into practice with a set of 25 draft actions. They range from developing an agreed New Forest-wide network of key recreation sites and routes; to measures to reduce impacts of specific activities on the Forest; and increasing the range of initiatives designed to help people understand why the Forest is so special.

The online survey and background information are at:


    • 18 June 2018 – 12 August 2018: Public consultation on the draft actions
    • Autumn 2018: analysis of responses
    • Early 2019: publish Recreation Management Strategy update with lead organisations for agreed actions
    • 2019/2020: progress with actions.


Notes to editors

Recreation Management Strategy Steering Group members:




    • The Forestry Commission
    • Verderers
    • New Forest National Park Authority
    • Hampshire County Council
    • Natural England
    • New Forest District Council.

Recreation Management Strategy Advisory Group members include the above Steering Group members and:



      • Commoners Defence Association
      • 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
      • Cycle Working Group
      • RSPB.


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