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Development threats to New Forest

New Forest National Park Authority and New Forest District Council Local Plans

The Friends of the New Forest are concerned with the New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) Local Plan, which aims to build 10,500 homes over ten years. In their own summary NFDC admit this is three to four times their current development rate and that 13 of 20 of their proposed strategic development sites are on Green Belt.

The Friends of the New Forest believe this will increase the population in the District and National Park by roughly seven times that of Lyndhurst. One of these ‘Lyndhursts’ will be an entire new village at Fawley, which will increase the population of the park by 10 %, at the wrong end of the already stressed A326 transport corridor.

This would have a severe recreational impact on the New Forest with disturbance to habitat and livestock, and would further urbanise the already saturated Waterside Area, requiring upgrades to the roads that due to that saturation would necessarily encroach onto the highly protected Crown Lands within the National Park. This would increase traffic westward across the New Forest on roads already animal accident blackspots.

The New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA) and NFDC share a viability study that accepts the developer’s contention that in order to develop 1,500 homes at Fawley, they must also build 120 as premium homes on a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation within the National Park.

The Friends of the New Forest are concerned that the National Park is failing in its statutory purposes to conserve and enhance the New Forest, by adopting the poor logic and questionable feasibility behind the NFDC support for the Waterside development and by a lack of objection to the scale of NFDC’s 10,500 home plan.

The Government 25 Year Environment Plan promises greater protection for National Parks and both designated and undesignated habitats, and a review for possible expansion of the boundaries of National Parks. The Friends of the New Forest feel that the NFNPA and NFDC should be working together to fulfil their legal obligation to protect the New Forest.

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WANTED – Help to run this important New Forest charity

We value the special qualities of the Forest and seek to promote and protect them as the only all-inclusive organisation promoting its well-being. We campaign against threats and embrace change for the better and seek to make it happen. Our key activists are enthusiastic and committed.

We are hoping to recruit a number of new people to help to make this happen, so you would be part of a small re-energising renaissance, working with an enthusiastic and committed Chairman and Vice Chairman.

HONORARY SECRETARY

Our Honorary Secretary stepped down at our AGM on 21st April. An organisation without an Honorary Secretary is very much a ship without a rudder. This is not where we want to be. With important issues facing the New Forest we need to be going forward and campaigning in an organised and effective fashion.

If you want to make a huge difference to an important charity, this is the role for you.

Copy of job description is HERE

EVENTS PLANNER

During our 150th anniversary year in 2017 we ran a series of member events through the year. These were greatly appreciated and we would like to continue to offer enjoyable and informative New Forest events.

The Events Planner would work with trustees and members of our Council to generate ideas and contacts for an events programme.

More information is HERE

EVENTS ADMINISTRATOR

There is a need for someone to monitor our online events booking system and liaise with the event leader and those who have booked a place.

More information is HERE

PLANNING and TRANSPORT COMMITTEE MEMBER

We are seeking to strengthen our Planning and Transport Committee with additional members who are interested in the issues and potential impacts on the New Forest of planning policies and planning applications.

More information is HERE

INTERESTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT ANY OF THESE ROLES?

Phone or email
John Ward 01590 671205 chair@friendsofthenewforest.org
or
Gale Gould 01725 518410 vicechair@friendsofthenewforest.org

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NFA Council and Trustees 2017-18

With our AGM fast approaching on Saturday 21st April 2018, this and next week we’ll feature our annual reports. NFA Chair John Ward reports on the work of our council and trustees on both this year’s work and our 150th Anniversary celebrations.

Formal meetings of Council were held six times and for the Board of Trustees four times during 2017. In addition there were regular meetings of the Habitats and Landscape Committee and the Planning and Transport Committee; and also ad hoc meetings of the Education Working Group. At the end of 2017 there were eight trustees and sixteen nontrustee members of Council.

We have continued to share issues and experiences with other National Park Societies and as a Council member of the Campaign for National Parks (CNP): and have collaborated with them to co-ordinate responses to government and other national consultations and draft proposals that will affect National Parks. Examples of national consultations and draft proposals with implications for the New Forest that have crossed our desks in 2017 include:

  • Department of Transport consultation on the future of strategic roads
  • Emergency Services Network (ESN) – mobile communications
  • Campaign for Better Transport Report
  • Ofgem open letter on RIIO-2 Framework
  • Electricity transmission owner stakeholder consultation
  • Government Housing White Paper
  • Government proposals for Permitted Development Rights
  • Proposed UK Minerals Strategy

We have held informal liaison meetings with the National Park Authority and Forestry Commission; and attend various New Forest forums and working groups including the Consultative Panel and meetings of the Verderers Court. The Friends of the New Forest were in evidence on stands at the New Forest Show and at Roydon Woods Woodfair. Sponsorship funding support was given for the animal accident ‘advert’ on the back of the New Forest Tour bus through 2017; and also for the ‘Our Past Our Future’ projects for ranger training and for habitat restoration. The Association had previously committed to support the project to develop housing for commoners at Rockford farm and during 2017 we contributed to the costs of preparing drawings and making a planning application. On the research side we made a funding contribution to the New Forest Curlew Project.

2017 was, of course, our 150th Anniversary year. At the end of 2016 we launched “Saving the New Forest”, the book written by Peter Roberts telling the story of our Association. It has been selling well throughout 2017. The story of the Association and the New Forest from the mid 19th century until today was put together into a slide show presentation. This has been given to more than 20 groups, reaching over 1,000 people most of whom had not previously heard of us and gaining donations to support our work to protect the Forest.

We organised and hosted the National Parks Societies annual conference, held this year in October at Balmer Lawn Hotel and attended by 50 delegates from other national parks, the Campaign for National Parks, other national bodies and New Forest organisations.

During the year our Anniversary programme provided 16 events. Walks and visits included, the Verderers Court and Lyndhurst Church, Archaeology in Sloden Inclosure, Caring for Pondhead Inclosure, Needs Ore, Rockford and a Fungi Walk at Rans Wood. Following the AGM there were options to visit Furzey Gardens or Minstead Study Centre.

Two events were held specifically to celebrate the 150-year anniversary:

  • Lunch at MJs restaurant was attended by our Patron, Belinda Lady Montagu, and President, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, together with NFA members and trustees, affiliated Parishes and representatives from the Forestry Commission, Verderers, Commoners and National Park Authority.
  • Council members and invited guests gathered at the Crown Hotel in Lyndhurst on the 22nd of July to raise a glass and mark the day on which the New Forest Association was founded.

We held two receptions and exhibition private views – The New Forest Open Art Exhibition at the New Forest Centre, and New Forest Bird Sculpture by Geoffrey Dashwood at St Barbe Museum and Gallery.

Purely social events proved to be less popular with Friends of the New Forest and a summer garden party and an autumn golf day were cancelled due to lack of support. Unfortunately the intended Frohawk Walk was also cancelled at short notice due to a gypsy drive-in clashing with this event. Ours was not the only anniversary this year. It was the 800th anniversary of the New Forest Charter and panels about the New Forest Association were included in a display at the New Forest Centre. In November we hosted a small delegation from the Anglo-Portuguese community who visited the New Forest in November to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival of 150 Portuguese troops to assist with timber production for the war effort.

Two large events for 200 people, both of which were booked out with waiting lists, provided the bookends for the Anniversary Year.

The first was “What Future for the New Forest – A Foot in the Past and an Eye to the Future”, with a keynote address from Council member, Clive Chatters followed by responses from Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, Bruce Rothney, Deputy Surveyor for the New Forest and Dominic May, Official Verderer, together with the audience. Clive identified the management of recreation in the Forest as being a key issue, and concluded that ‘this generation’s responsibility to secure the future of the Forest now lies with us’. By the end of the evening there seemed to be an emerging consensus, particularly with respect to recreation management, that it feels like ‘one of those moments for bold decision making’.

Our final, very well attended event was “An Evening of New Forest Films with Lord Montagu”. This was hosted at the John Montagu Theatre in the Beaulieu Motor Museum, and featured a fascinating array of archive footage of the Forest, some not publicly viewed previously. We thank both Lord Montagu and Dr. Manuel Hinge for this most fitting closing event for our Anniversary year, and their untiring efforts to preserve films that provide an historical, cultural, and community window on the Forest.

Recreation management continued to be a major issue for us through the year. There have been several presentments to the Verderers Court echoing similar concerns, and at the New Forest Show the National Park Authority launched a consultation on reviewing their Recreation Management Strategy. We responded to this consultation and also opened up a dialogue on the subject with the Forestry Commission. We believe this is the most pressing issue needing to be addressed within the Forest and significant action must to be taken to review and change the recreation infrastructure within the Forest. To succeed his must be driven by the statutory authorities with as much vision as those who implemented the 1971 Conservation of the New Forest proposals and not just end in fine words but with little tangible effect.

Chair – John Ward

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DEVELOPMENT THREAT TO THE NEW FOREST

DEVELOPMENT THREAT TO THE NEW FOREST – URGENT
Please help us to help the New Forest. Your action is needed now!

Friends of the New Forest (New Forest Association) is urging our members and supporters to respond to a public consultation in order to protect part of the New Forest National Park from a development scheme that is proposing over 1500 houses (bigger than the size of Lyndhurst) to be built on or near the site of Fawley Power Station.

We believe that this development will have a detrimental impact on the ecology of the area and are urging people to oppose the scheme before the public consultation deadline to the National Park Authority Local Plan ends on 28th February.

Although the Fawley Power Station site itself is in the control of New Forest District Council, it is an ‘island’ within the National Park and the development impacts will fall heavily on the National Park. The proposals of the National Park Authority’s Local Plan could pave the way to development of 1500 or more houses that would clearly constitute a major development.

Your comments on Fawley Power Station Site in the New Forest National Park Authorities Plan should reflect:

• Need for use of site for building not proven.
• Site could be made safe and managed for conservation.
• In the long term the site could be included within the National Park.

If it is developed on the scale proposed (1500 houses) there will a catastrophic environmental impact on the New Forest:

• Extra traffic will cause loss of tranquillity
• Increased risk to Forest livestock – may lead to road widening and fencing.
• Extra recreation will bring more litter and more disturbances.
• Extra recreational horse keeping will raise the cost of renting back up land to beyond what a commoner can afford.

A town of this size will require additional development of schools, surgeries, shops, and pubs.
It will be larger than Lyndhurst (1374 households at 2011) – Would this be tolerated in, say, the Lake District?

In addition it is stated that National Park land will be required for an additional 120 houses:

‘Viability work commissioned by the Authority and New Forest District Council concludes that without some limited development in the National Park, this major brownfield site could only come forward with a very high density development on the brownfield site outside the National Park – development that in itself would have a detrimental impact on the surrounding National Park. ‘

This feels like being held to ransom and is clearly nonsense.

Many of the National Park Authority members are also Councillors of NFDC who are pursuing this development.  How independent is the National Park Authority and how does this development meet the dual purposes of the Park?

This development does not foster the economic and social well-being of the local communities within the National Park – it drops a complete new settlement into its midst which does not in any way comply with National Park purposes.

Another major anomaly is the lack of protection for back-up grazing land. The practice of commoning is recognised as essential to the ecological and heritage assets of the area. Policy SP48 includes ‘…resisting the loss of back-up grazing (which is fundamental to commoning) through development…’

BUT Local Plan Policies SP22 and SP24 recommend approval for 60 houses at Ashurst and 40 houses at Sway that would result in the loss of back up grazing in direct contradiction to the earlier policy.

PLEASE OBJECT TO THE LOCAL PLAN
BEFORE THE END OF THIS MONTH
Particularly Policies SP22, SP24 and SP25

YOU MAY OBJECT BY emailing THE NATIONAL PARK PLANNING TEAM AT:
policy@newforestnpa.gov.uk

OR

BY FILLING IN THE NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY FORM AT:
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GJRLLJJ

Information about the local plan and a copy of the local plan are here:
http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/info/20040/planning_policy/361/local_plan

We are grateful for your support.

Friends of the New Forest
Registered Charity No. 260328

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100th anniversary of the Portuguese Fireplace in the New Forest

Bernard Hornung and Anglo-Portuguese Society group

Bernard Hornung and Anglo-Portuguese Society group

On 18th November 2017, eight members of the Anglo-Portuguese community came to the New Forest from London for a little ceremony to commemorate the arrival of a Portuguese contingent in the New Forest on 23rd November 1917 to help in the production of timber for the war effort. Some members of the Friends of the New Forest met the Portuguese party at the New Forest Inn at Emery Down for lunch and then accompanied them to the Portuguese Fireplace at Millyford Green, which had been decorated with Portuguese flags for the occasion. They were joined there by other members of the Friends of the New Forest, and their leader Bernard Hornung explained:

“There is currently no war memorial in this country to the Portuguese who died in WW1. The Portuguese Fireplace is the only memorial that exists and that is to non-combatants. This visit marks the start of the final phase of a fund-raising campaign for two Memorial Windows at the Roman Catholic Church of St James at Twickenham, which will be dedicated to the sacrifices of the Portuguese during the First World War and to the memory of the last King of Portugal.”

Richard Reeves, local historian and Friends of the New Forest council member, explaining the history of Portuguese workers
Then local historian and Friends of the New Forest Council member, Richard Reeves talked about the history behind the Fireplace and the difficulties that faced the Portuguese workers:

“From the start of the First World War, the war itself created an increased demand for timber while at the same time reducing those available to take on such work as they enlisted in the armed forces. The resultant shortage of labour was met to a certain degree by the formation of the Women’s Timber Service and Empire forestry units such as the Canadian Forestry Corps, formed in 1916. However, the need for labour was greater still and the Canadian Forestry Corps based at Millyford were joined by a Portuguese contingent of 100 men on the 23rd of November 1917.

The New Forest lumber camp became a significant settlement, covering around 4 to 5 acres. It was supported by a number of saw-mills and even a narrow gauge railway to transport the timber out of the Forest.

The Portuguese Fireplace is all that remains of this part of the war effort. The Fireplace was originally the fireplace of the camp’s cookhouse.”

Bernard Hornung presenting book to John Ward, Chairman of Friends of the New Forest

Bernard Hornung presenting book to John Ward, Chairman of Friends of the New Forest

Finally a toast was raised to the memory of the Portuguese workers and to the Anglo-Portuguese co-operation that they represented, Portugal being Britain’s oldest international ally. Some of the party then enjoyed a short walk in Holidays Hill Inclosure before they returned to London.

The Friends of the New Forest have just finished celebrating their own 150th anniversary with a year of events. Set up in 1867 to fight off serious threats to the Forest as we know it, the Friends (until recently known as the New Forest Association) are the only membership-based association in the New Forest that gives its members an effective voice on a wide range of New Forest issues. For 150 years their guiding purpose has been to protect, conserve and enhance the flora, fauna and heritage of the New Forest.
Portuguese fireplace, New Forest decorated with Portuguese flags

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Friends of the New Forest host national conference

National Parks Societies Conference 2017

The Friends of the New Forest recently hosted a three-day national conference at Balmer Lawn Hotel, Brockenhurst, which was attended by representatives from the other twelve National Park Societies in England and Wales. These Societies are charities which act as ‘critical friends’ to each government National Park Authority, and are the voice for their National Park – its friend and watchdog. Also in attendance were representatives from the Campaign for National Parks, National Parks England and local organisations including the Verderers of the New Forest.

After long journeys from the far corners of England and Wales, delegates met up over an excellent dinner after which Head Agister Jonathan Gerrelli and local photographer Barry Whitcher entertained them with a sparkling illustrated explanation of the role of the New Forest Commoners and the work of the Agisters including organising the annual Drifts to round up ponies.

The following morning was devoted to presentations on the history of the Friends of the New Forest, and the multi-agency ‘Our Past, Our Future’ Landscape Partnership, which is undertaking 21 projects to restore lost habitats, develop Forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the New Forest. Then delegates heard about the role of ‘Go New Forest’ in delivering marketing and promotional support for the New Forest destination and of New Forest Marque, whose accreditation scheme exists to develop and promote the production, processing and distribution of local produce from the New Forest. Finally there was a session about communicating your organisation’s aims in a ‘post-truth’ society.

Jane Overall talking about New Forest Marque

The delegates then stretched their legs and continued to learn on one of two study tours: a Forest walk to learn about combatting non-native species and stream restoration, and a boat trip to Hurst Castle followed by a sea wall walk to hear about climate change and its impact on the New Forest coast. Returning wind-blown and in some cases muddy, delegates had time to meet up and chat about their matters of mutual interest, with Brexit looming over all. Following another good dinner, they were entertained by a talk from Woodgreen artist Pete Gilbert who managed to tell them his exciting life story while producing a painting of a New Forest scene before their eyes.

Nick Wardlaw leading stream restoration study group

Catherine Chatters leading non-native species study group

The final morning involved further presentations on the New Forest Trust, Forest Design Plan, and the work and concerns of the Commoners Defence Association before Bruce Rothnie, Deputy Surveyor, tackled the thorny issue of recreation management and its relationship to the primary purpose of conserving and enhancing natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage. Alison Barnes from the New Forest National Park Authority gave an overview of current challenges; and finally Fiona Howie, Chief Executive of the national organisation Campaign for National Parks, summarised the many current problems being faced by National Parks, including the uncertain future for their farming and commoning communities, and the important role that their ‘critical friends’, the National Park Societies, have to play.

Delegates then set off to return to their homes as far away as Dartmoor, the Lake District, the North York Moors and the Broads, to name but a few.

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Saving the New Forest – 150 Years

President Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre and Henry Fawcett MP

On July 22nd this year a very special meeting was held at the Crown Hotel in Lyndhurst. Attended by Lord Montagu, the Hon. Mary Montagu Scott, Lord Manners and Mr Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre among others, it was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the New Forest Association, now known as the Friends of the New Forest. And the special guests were there because their ancestors were in at the start.

Why was the Association established in the first place? In 1867 the New Forest was under a very real threat to enclose all usable parts of the Crown lands for timber production and sell off the remainder. This had happened in many other Royal Forests in the preceding 60 years. Adjacent landowners were concerned about their tenants, who were smallholders relying on common rights for their animals to graze the New Forest to supplement their income. The leading lights were W.C.D. (Clement) Esdaile, George Briscoe-Eyre and Lord Henry Scott (later to become Lord Montagu).

Ten of these landowners met in London in June 1867 at the Chelsea home of George Eyre and his son Briscoe to discuss the problem and agreed that something must be done. In very British fashion they agreed to set up an association. At a meeting in Lyndhurst in the heart of the New Forest on July 22nd 1867, probably at the Crown Hotel, it was resolved: “That this meeting approves of an Association being formed for the preservation of the open lands of the New Forest, and for the general protection of the Commoners rights over the Forest.” The name of the New Forest Association was swiftly adopted.

The purpose of the Association was to find a way of protecting the rights of the commoners and to prevent the break-up of the Forest into timber plantations. The founding secretary, W.C.D. Esdaile, along with George Briscoe Eyre and Lord Henry Scott, worked hard to alert the public to the losses that would occur to the nation if this land was enclosed and lost forever. Two parliamentary reviews, a major London Art Exhibition, scores of letters in the national press and ten years were to pass before the 1877 New Forest Act was made law and the future of the New Forest made certain.

The Association was the second environmental body to be set up in Britain, just two years after the Open Spaces Society in 1865. Every time there was a threat to the New Forest, the organisation swung into action and helped to save the day. In its 150th anniversary year, it rebranded itself as the Friends of the New Forest in order to explain its role and attract new members. Now as the Forest faces increasing pressures from development and over-use for recreation, it needs its Friends more than ever.

The present day Association chairman, John Ward, talked about the contrast between the nineteenth century threats of destruction and harmful change to the New Forest and the pressures that beset it today, saying: “When the Association was founded it was to save the Forest from the destructive intentions of those government bodies responsible for its management.”

“Today the largest threat and greatest management challenge comes not from ‘those in charge’ but from the sheer scale of those meaning no harm, but coming to the Forest in ever greater numbers wishing to enjoy the Forest as a recreation destination. Fragile habitats, tranquillity and a sense of remoteness are essential but illusive special New Forest qualities that require protection.”

He said that we could learn from the pioneering campaign efforts made 150 years ago: “Our founding fathers were innovative in their campaigning, organising an art exhibition in London to raise awareness of the Forest’s natural beauty, in addition to the expected letters in the Times and Questions in Parliament.”

“We must be equally creative in campaigning to protect the New Forest, adapting to a new digital age, social media and sound-bites if we are to persuade people of the need to cherish and protect those special qualities that make this a unique landscape.”

Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, President of the Association, said: ” Only a handful of charities can say that they have existed for 150 years and been so successful and active throughout that time. I think the Founding Fathers of our Association would be enormously proud of what has been achieved by its members over so many generations to protect and conserve the New Forest since 1867. One thing will never change, and that is the shared love of this unique and beautiful place that the Association’s members have always had: that is our strength and it will serve the Association and Forest well for the next 150 years.” He then invited those present to raise a glass to the memory of the Founders and to the Association’s future.

The present day meeting was then entertained by actor Desmond Longfield of the Redlynch Players in period costume purporting to be MP Henry Fawcett and reading a speech based loosely on one he made in 1871, albeit with allusions to the current threats facing the Forest.

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Members Event and AGM – 22nd April 2017

The 2017 Members Event and Association AGM will be held:
Saturday 22nd April
Minstead Hall, Minstead SO43 7FX,
Starting at 10.00am


PROGRAMME

10.00 am: Coffee and tea available
10.30 am: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
DOWNLOAD ANNUAL REPORT and AGM AGENDA 

11.00 am: MEMBERS EVENT
Peter Roberts: The lighter side of our history
John Ward: Our Agenda: What have we been doing and how are we getting on?
Panel Discussion: Raise questions and issues for the Friends to address, with Graham Baker, Clive Chatters, Gale Gould, Brian Tarnoff and John Ward. (Please notify us of your questions/issues in advance on booking form below if possible to allow time for research where needed, or hand them in at the start of the meeting.)

12.30 pm: BUFFET LUNCH – @£7 per person. Bar open. please pre-book on form below

Afternoon Activities please pre-book on form below:

  • Self-guided visit to nearby Furzey Gardens, where the azaleas and rhododendrons should be in flower. We have negotiated a reduced entry fee of £6.50 (usually £8), and cream tea for £6.95 if you wish
  • 2.30 pm Guided visit (I hour) to Minstead Study Centre, run by Hampshire County Council, which aims to advance lifelong learning for sustainability. A chance to learn about their innovative educational work here in the Forest with primary school children and adults.Recommended minimum donation to the Friends of Minstead Study Centre £5 per person please.(Max. group size 30 people)

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Maldwin Drummond OBE 1932-2017

It is with sadness that we record the death of Maldwin Drummond on Saturday 18th February.

The official notice of his death reads:
Maldwin Andrew Cyril died peacefully on 18th February 2017, aged 84. Much loved husband of Gilly, father of Frederica, Annabella and Aldred, step-father to Sophie, Ariane and Laura. Service at Fawley Church, Hampshire 11am Thursday, 16th March. Family flowers only. Leading protagonist for the conservation of historic ships including SS Great Britain, HMS Warrior and Cutty Sark, environmentalist and author. Recently reprinted, with illustrations by Martyn Mackrill, The Riddle, the background to The Riddle of the Sands first published in 1985.
Donations, if desired, to:
The UK Associates of Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences: Ocean Science Scholarships for UK Students https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/charity/view/64489.
HMS INVINCIBLE Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust: http://www.thisismast.org/hms-invincible.html – Contact: Claire House-Norman, Fundraising Director chousenorman@bournemouth.ac.uk.
FRIENDS of the NEW FOREST http://newforestassociation.org/


In addition to his many other accomplishments and public service ranging from the RNLI to the Cutty Sark, Maldwin has been a stalwart friend and champion of the New Forest for many years.

He became an elected verderer in the early 1960s and served until 1990, but it was not long before he was once again in the court as the appointed Official Verderer from 1999 to 2002. During his time as a verderer Maldwin was deeply involved in the 1964 New Forest Act together with the radical measures brought in to save the Forest from being overwhelmed by visitors – controlled camping and car parking on designated sites and elsewhere a car-free Forest with ditches and dragons teeth to curb the free-for-all.

At a time in the late 1980s when the fragmented governance of the New Forest was increasingly seen to be to the Forest’s detriment, but there was no appetite for yet another official body, he became the chair of a newly formed New Forest Committee, which brought together the different Forest bodies into a more co-ordinated forum. With only a small staff, but guided by Maldwin’s great enthusiasm from 1990 to 1998, a great deal was achieved to set out principles for the long-term protection of the Forest and in winning funding bids to support environmental and nature conservation improvement projects, notably from the EU LIFE programme.

As one might expect, Maldwin Drummond was also directly engaged with and a supporter of the New Forest Association. He served as our President from 1973 to 1983 and again from 2003 to 2009.

1997 was the 900th anniversary of the establishment of the New Forest as a royal hunting preserve. Maldwin, as President of the New Forest Association, thought that this occasion should be marked by something more durable than just a firework display or television documentary (although it got that too) and came up with the idea of tapestry. The Association agreed and we set up a tapestry sub-committee. With Maldwin in charge this was not to be just a ‘talking shop’. The tapestry morphed into an embroidery and Belinda Lady Montagu was commissioned to design the work and then transform it into reality. Sketches turned into a design. Experts were consulted to ensure the historical accuracy of depicted scenes and the 25ft long project was begun. Many many helpers were recruited and like a giant jigsaw puzzle it was completed. The embroidery is now on permanent loan from the Association to the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst.

“It is a vision of a countryside managed with care and concern for future generations.
We all have a role in conserving the Forest and must take opportunity to turn words in into actions”

Maldwin Drummond, 1996 – from his foreword to the Strategy for the New Forest prepared by the New Forest Committee under his chairmanship.

DONATIONS to the FRIENDS OF THE NEW FOREST in MEMORY of MALDWIN DRUMMOND may be made on our website: http://newforestassociation.org/donate/

 

 

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What Future for the New Forest?

2017 will be a year of celebration for the New Forest Association marking our 150th anniversary, but is also a time for reflection on the present day state of the New Forest, its future prospects and the main issues on which our Association should focus our campaigns.

We need to ask ourselves:
Do we accept that we might be able to slow the process, but the fate of the Forest is to suffer a steady decline of its unique special qualities as the National Park is inexorably reduced to being a Suburban Park hemmed in on all sides by development and just too small not to be overwhelmed by too many people with too much activity and too many vehicles?   Or, can the New Forest be saved from a multiplicity of cumulatively harmful impacts so that our vision of the New Forest might yet be sustained?

The Association’s 150th anniversary launch event on 24th January was an evening all about these questions, where the New Forest is going and the challenges before us today.

Clive Chatters, who is Council member of the Association, gave the keynote address

Followed by responses from:

  • Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority
  • Bruce Rothney, Deputy Surveyor for the New Forest
  • Dominic May, Official Verderer

and participants from the audience of 200 people.

The launch event turned into a must-be-at New Forest occasion, with all seats ‘sold out’. With his provocative keynote address “The New Forest: a foot in the past and an eye to the future”, Clive Chatter’s spoke of a landscape derived from pastoralism now set in a suburban matrix, of unparalleled natural wealth being overwhelmed by affluence. He identified the management of recreation in the Forest being a key issue, and concluded that ‘this generation’s responsibility to secure the future of the Forest now lies with us’.

Clive’s inspiring talk was followed by responses from Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, and Bruce Rothnie, Deputy Surveyor of the New Forest. Before comments and questions from the floor, Dominic May, Official Verderer, challenged the public authorities to control creeping damage from recreation overuse to avoid conflict with the unique qualities of the Forest. Concluding the evening, Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, President of the Friends of the New Forest and Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, alluded to the many challenges facing the Forest, paid tribute to the work of the Association since its inception, and commented that ‘the Forest needs all the Friends it can get.

While it was not an evening to solve all of the issues threatening or supporting the Forest’s future, they were well examined and many challenges (and some achievements) were identified in the course of the evening. There seemed to be an emerging concensus that particularly with respect to recreation management, it feels like ‘one of those moments for bold decision making’.

If you were not able to be there, read the text of the presentations and a transcript of audience contributions below:

Download a PDF
DOWNLOAD

Or read it on screen below:

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