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New Forest Voluntary Car Schemes.

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New Forest Consultative Panel - Archive

Reports From Previous Meetings:

Report from the meeting held on 4 November 2010

The last three NFCP meetings were concerned initially with the problems of vandalism and crime on the open forest ranging from fly tipping to poaching, the former often by deliberate flagrant dumping and the latter by vicious gangs with no care for the deer often left to die mutilated and abandoned. Dumping is costly to clean up as the perpetrators are often unknown or unproven. The public is warned to report poachers to the police or keepers as it is dangerous to challenge them. Casual damage to the forest by teenagers has prompted a series of courses to educate the offenders in forest care.

Planning is always a concern and applications closely followed, which has resulted in the National Park Authority providing detailed advice on the strict regulations required.

There is growing interest in the archaeology of the forest and the need to protect historic and prehistoric sites. At the last meeting on the 4th November 2010, Jonathan Gerrelli, the senior Agister spoke earnestly about the need for all residents in the forest and visitors to understand and respect the commoners' stock of ponies, cattle and pigs, without which the ancient woodland, pastures, the whole diversity of the unique terrain would be lost forever. Panel members were reminded of the slow and painful death of many ponies and cattle at this time of year from acorn poisoning; the early release of pigs for pannage being necessary to help clear the particularly heavy crop of acorns this year. Unfortunately, commoners have been criticised for exercising their rights of pannage, resulting in insufficient pigs being turned out, resulting in more deaths to ponies and cattle.

Members were concerned that the tourist agencies should explain the working forest with all its needs and problems, as well as exalting the beauty and tranquillity of the New Forest. Certainly, the growing number of frequent visitors who often understand better than local inhabitants was welcome.

Report from the meeting held on 6 May 2010

The meeting on the 6th May 2010 was of particular interest.

Sergeant Louise Hubble, Countrywatch Sergeant, Hampshire Constabulary, Lyndhurst, gave a presentation explaining and illustrating the problems of  crime and abuse relating not only to the habitats of fauna and flora, but also to the wild animals and managed stock which give unique character to the Forest.

We were given the usual tranquil scenes as used by the various tourist boards and businesses, before these were followed by shocking graphic imagery of  cruelty and exploitation, not possible to be published or shown on television owing to its hideous nature.

Fly dumping and abandoned burnt out vehicles, led on to scenes of armed poachers, hooded and in combat dress, driving their 4x4s onto open forest and into woodland. Deer shot and abandoned had been left to suffer in agony if not discovered and mercifully dispatched by a Keeper.

The numbers of commoners' stock hit by callous drivers and left on the roadside have not decreased despite all the publicity given to this problem. The police work closely with the Agisters but need all the help they can get from local people to tackle this most distressing part of living in the Forest.

I recommend Sally Fear's current exhibition of photographs at the St Barbe Gallery and Museum which not only shows commoners at work with their stock, but draws attention to the problems on the roads.

Barrie Foley, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Park, announced that this meeting would be his last before making way for the new CEO.

Peter Whapham


Report from the meeting held on 7 July 2011 Attended by Cllr Holmes

  1. A matter arising from the last minutes was in regard to the lack of consultation with local residents prior to the felling of trees near Latchmoor Shade. This was followed by a debate on verge cutting, and the impact on wild flowers and insect life.
  2. The Forestry Commission explained the restructuring of their service after a review had been undertaken - there was a staff reduction but area managed by Queen’s House had been increased.
  3. Alison Barnes CEO NFNPA reported on the authority meeting.
    Julie Stubbs reported on Land Advice Service and work with landowners, farmers and commoners.
  4. Any other business gave the group opportunity to ask about the following:

Red band needle blight

Natural Environment White Paper raised by the Hampshire & IOW Wildlife Trust

Why Denny Lodge was not consulted about the construction of a lay-by

Why a cattle grid gate was not repaired properly

The issue of flooding in Copythorne.

Ragwort awareness week and the dangers of ragwort was mentioned to the panel

Tim Greenwood mentioned registry of septic/private drainage with Environment Agency.

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