Monday, September 29

New Forest National Park Niggles

All is not happy in the new New Forest la-la land that its NP Authority seems intent on creating.

Recently came news of the 'innovative' idea to make motorists pay to use New Forest roads, which would make it the first National Park in the country to make such a charge.

There's few hard facts out in the public forum, but mention has been made that there would be experimental closures of selected minor routes during peak periods between Easter and September, and possibly at weekends throughout the year. In some parts of the New Forest this could mean total denial of access to some areas.

As if that wasn't enough in itself to unsettle local serfdom other options are being aired. These include banning dog walkers from certain car parks & tightening restrictions on owning horses for recreational use.

Whoops!

Mess with our livestock? In this part of the world that's akin to real fightin' talk. A step too far methinks.

And so it seems, with a lobby group Forest Uprising coming together from nothing to set up a public meeting at 3 days' notice, but still attracting 250+ people, rather than the anticipated 100.

Double Whoops!

Nice one New Forest NPA. That's the way to get the local population on side. Not.

There will be an open air demonstration at Wilverley Plain (on the road between Brockenhurst and Burley) on Saturday October 4 at 10.30am (Map here)

I hope to cover the event and report back on the mood of the meeting. Suitably accompanied by dog & walking boots of course. Perhaps even a wildcamp in the middle of the plain (down John - that's just plain naughty- lol)

I may add, all at some personal risk to myself as I see 'Face Painting for the kids' is being threatened. Even a Vietnam war correspondent didn't have to face that kind of risk to get The Big Story! I'll probably be having flashbacks for weeks. Something to do with orange and black stripy tigers with HUGE charcoal whiskers.

Shudder.

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Comments:
With regard to road closures, the Peak District has had one example in Derwentdale for a long time now. The road that goes part way up the valley to the main pay-and-diplay car park is always open, but the continuation up into the heartland is closed to motorised vehicles at weekends and public holidays - walkers and cyclists only.
This seems to work pretty well but the road is not a major thoroughfare, just an access road served by a bus that runs for walkers and tourists. I don't know what kind of roads would be affected in the New Forest plan.
 
thanks for the feedback Geoff, I'll pass it on
 
Thanks for the support John, nice meeting you on Saturday - when we could drag you away from the face painting ;-) No NPA types here I suspect, too afraid of a little cyber-mud on their shiny shoes, but you seem like a good bunch who enjoy the fresh air & freedom of the real countryside.
 
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