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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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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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Schools Project Competition – £1,000 PRIZE

It is today’s young people who will need to solve many problems if the New Forest is to survive and prosper for the benefit and enjoyment of their own and later generations. But to solve problems, first it is necessary to know and understand the context. To help achieve that objective we are commemorating our 150th Anniversary Year in 2017 by sponsoring a Schools’ Project Competition with a £1000 prize. The main objectives of the competition are:

  • To encourage the interest, education and enjoyment of secondary school students in matters concerning the New Forest.
  • To foster students’ understanding that the New Forest is a unique, precious and irreplaceable resource, and encourage a wish to conserve and sustain it for the benefit of their own and future generations.
  • To support teachers in helping students acquire transferable skills for investigation and research individually and in groups
  • To stimulate students’ interests in ways that may contribute to their career aspirations, and to help students clarify their immediate ambitions particularly with regard to potential pathways through further or higher education.

Entry Guidelines for Schools and Colleges

Subjects:
Any that has the New Forest explicitly as the focus for study, e.g. relating to its natural history, ecology, environment, conservation, society, commoning, history, archaeology, economy, forestry, farming, tourism, sport, recreation etc.

Eligibility:
The competition is intended to complement GCSE level geography, especially its field study components, both human and physical. However, any project work undertaken by students in Years 10 and 11 is eligible, irrespective of subject area, with the New Forest as its explicit focus.

The competition requires a minimum of 10 schools entering.

Format:
Competition entries normally will comprise group work. Entries may take the form of :
a) written reports of not more than 2000 words for each individual student submitted, or
b) an outline explanation of not more than 500 words accompanying other media, e.g. posters, photographs, maps, ‘Powerpoint’, etc. Teachers will be required to provide a brief written statement confirming the nature and scope of the guidance they have given.

Assessment:
Our assessment of a school’s submission will be based on:
a) relevance to the New Forest,
b) clear definition and justification for the study context,
c) ability to structure and explain the approach taken,
d) demonstrated literacy and numeracy, and
e) clarity of summary and conclusions.

The panel of assessors with relevant expertise will be drawn from the Council of the Association and chaired by Dr Keith Howe.

Incentives:
Award of a £1000 prize to the school/college submitting the best entry.
Individual students will receive certificates of attainment (distinction, merit, pass), and the best overall designated NFA Geographer of the Year.

Key dates:
•  Applicationsclosing date 5 June 2017

ENTER  enter online
pdf FORM  or download form
•  NFA receipt of project materialsclosing date, 25 July 2017
•  Result announced,
September 2017

Any questions:
Please contact Dr Keith Howe using the form below:


3d printing download

 

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NFA lead five walks as part of the New Forest National Park Authority’s 2015 Walking Festival

The NFA will lead the following walks as part of the NPA’s third walking festival:

Monday 19th October – Rights of Common
Tuesday 20th October – Boats, Trains and Buses
Friday 23rd October – Solent 50 birds
Wednesday 28th October – Pylewell Estate
Friday 30th October – Avon Valley Villages

Details will appear on http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/info/20175/walking_festival and on this site shortly.

2015 Annual General Meeting: Saturday 18 April 2015

Attentive NFA members listen to Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre

Chaired by President, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, The 148 year old New Forest Association held its 2015 Annual General Meeting at Minstead Hall on Saturday 18 April.

Coffee was dished up by Sarah Ziegler and Val Thorpe, and members arrived from across the Forest, with the largest contingents coming from Ringwood, Lymington and Brockenhurst. Attendees included New Forest National Park Authority CEO Alison Barnes, who has shown consistent support for the work of the NFA.

There being no PA system available, the meeting was a rather intimate affair, with people having to speak up, and attendees having to cuddle a bit closer to listen. The business of the AGM was swiftly and deftly managed by the President, with accounts and minutes adopted and Council members elected. Recommendations for restructuring of NFA management to be better adapted to meeting the challenges of change and pressures currently facing the New Forest were also approved by a show of hands.

The report from the NFA Council to the Association membership highlighted some of the issues dealt with during the past year, including commercial fungi gathering, tranquillity, aircraft noise, undergrounding power cables and national planning policy changes for affordable housing and wider permitted development rights. And monitoring, supporting or opposing the never-ending flow of planning applications made for development throughout the New Forest.

Catherine Pascoe’s talk on
Autumn Ladies’ Tresses and
Field Gentian captures the audience

Directly following the AGM, fascinating talks were given by Reading University graduate, Catherine Pascoe on the distribution of the declining Autumn Ladies’ Tresses and Field Gentian Violets in an area heavily used by walkers, and by former Chairman, Peter Roberts, on NFA Campaigns of the past, with ideas for future action.

Central to Peter’s message was the need for education for both visitors and residents alike, as to the special and fragile qualities of the New Forest – something the NFA is working on delivering not just within the Forest, but nationwide. The Association’s Education Group is working with the National Park Authority on plans for a Secondary Schools New Forest Conference to be held in Brockenhurst later this year. Peter advocated collaboration as opposed to confrontation with other national and Forest organisations, suggesting that continual dialogue would achieve the best results.
During the open session following the talks, Alison Barnes advised that a close relationship with the other National Parks was important. Officers replied that the NFA had been closely involved with the work of the Council for National Parks since before the New Forest was designated and this would continue.

Member Barry Olorenshaw offered to help take the NFA message to local businesses to garner more support, and Acting Chairman John Ward said he had been impressed on a recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales with the close relationship between all those working for the good of that National Park. Council Member, Emma Blake, who has recently taken over administration of social media for the NFA asked all members to register support for the NFA Facebook page, and went on to say that she had introduced a new feature, entitled “We are Watching” to highlight current Forest issues and encourage members to start discussion on the page.

Alison Barnes, Chief Exec
    of the New Forest National Park
fields questions from
the NFA Membership

John Ward concluded the meeting by saying that the Forest did not face a single major issue such as Dibden Bay, but its qualities were being continuously eroded by a multitude of activities primarily stemming from recreation. The problem was complex and the solutions difficult – but solutions had to be found and bravely implemented.

Following the meeting a demonstration was given by member Max Hadley of a system of field survey using mobile phones. It was intended for use on NFA’s ongoing campaigns concerning low flying aircraft, overhead cables and surplus road signs.

Further enquiries John Ward: Tel: 01590 671205
Photos and Text — Emma Blake

Peter Roberts rebuts Anthony Pasmore’s Article Concerning Our Submission to the Independent Panel on Forestry

In the his 5th August 2011 “New Forest Notes” column in the Lymington Times, Anthony Pasmore took exception to the New Forest Association’s submission to the Independent Panel on Forestry. His interpretation patently ignores our defence of the New Forest Acts, our praise for the good side of the Forestry Commission, and insinuates a non-existent “bias in favour of replacing state control” (both a repurposed state control and suitably endowed charity options are discussed). He does seem to concur with, and illustrates our criticism of the bad commercial forestry driven management of the Forestry Commission. To read the full Article click here (the NFA are not responsible for content on other sites).

Our Chairman Peter Roberts has written a letter to the Lymington Times in rebuttal. The full text of which is included below:

9th August 2011

Dear Sir

It is good to see that Anthony Pasmore has taken up the challenge to open a debate on the New Forest Association’s views to the Forestry Panel (NF Notes 6th August). Whilst the headline of our Press Release captured the attention of the media it is the detail of what we are actually looking for that is important.

The aims of the Association are simple:- to protect, conserve and enhance the unique mix of flora, fauna and heritage that make up the New Forest, for present and future generations to enjoy. Clearly over a long history (we are more than fifty years older than the Forestry Commission) we have had many dealings with management policy. Our response to the Independent Panel on Forestry recognises the good work done by excellent staff of the Forestry Commission. Our aim is to obtain the best possible management for this unique area, we are far more interested in how the Forest is managed than who manages it.

Five years ago we published The New Forest Design Plan – Recovering Lost Landscapes to influence management thinking and correct some of the damage done by inappropriate planting. Inappropriate because softwood species are not native and can be grown more successfully elsewhere and inappropriate because of the loss of part of the largest lowland heathland in Europe – an internationally recognised and protected area. Few people now remember the damage done by conversion of many of the old inclosures from broad-leaved trees to conifer from the instigation of the Forestry Commission in 1924 until the outcry of 1970. Your columnist should remember, for he, alongside David Stagg and John Lavender, produced an excellent survey of the hardwoods at that time on behalf of the New Forest Association.

We have linked our response to the work of Sir John Lawton, whose committee produced a report Making Space for Nature last autumn. This fundamental rethink on how we can best use land for nature conservation (not for its own sake alone but because our own future is closely linked with wildlife) is an opportunity to seize.

As for Anthony’s concerns for the New Forest Acts none know their value better than the New Forest Association for our founding fathers’ decade of work led to the 1877 Act. We explicitly quote the New Forest Acts in our response stating that they and the Verderers activities should continue ‘regardless of who in future is responsible for managing the New Forest.’

Anthony’s comments on current ownership explain why we used the phrasing we did. Our submission talks of the Crown Estate of the New Forest to remind the Forestry Panel that it consists not just of the lands open to the public but also vital back-up grazing as well as considerable housing stock. The latter has provided a core of commoners housing for a considerable time to the benefit of the New Forest. We believe it is essential that all this should remain as a unit and not be sold off.

Our views to the Forestry Panel stated that the New Forest should be treated as a special case. We also believe in a balance between conservation, recreation and a working environment and that this view is shared by other bodies including the Commoners Defence Association and the National Park Authority. Removing national forestry policy from the Forestry Commission in the New Forest may provide the best possible way forward for management of this unique area. Whatever system of management is put in place it will need to take account of nature designations and public access as well as commoners usage for the benefit of the nation. It seems likely that this balance will only be achieved at a considerable cost to the public purse.

Our full submission may be found at newforestassociation.org



Yours sincerely

Peter Roberts

Chairman, New Forest Association

Note: the version published in the Lymington Times, may have been edited for space or content.

Presentment to The Verderers: Proposed Forestry Commission sell off consultation.

Presentment to The Court of Verderers.

Wednesday 16th February 2011
William Ziegler. Chairman. New Forest Association.

In common with many hundreds of thousands of others the New Forest Association is deeply concerned by the proposals outlined in the Government’s consultation document relating to the disposal of the Public Forest Estate which is presently owned and managed by the Forestry Commission and in particular to those proposals relating to the New Forest.

We are concerned not just by what is in the consultation document but, just as importantly, what is not as it fails to address a number of vital points pertaining to the New Forest:-

  1. No reference is made as to the New Forest being treated as a Cultural as well as a Natural Heritage Forest.
  2. No information is given as to whether the full infrastructure of the New Forest would remain intact e.g. the housing, timber, staff etc nor any recognition of the fact that it vital that the whole Forest estate is kept together as a single unit.
  3. No reference is made as to whether the existing New Forest Acts would remain unaltered as the cornerstone of the existing protective legislation the New Forest presently enjoys nor that the Verderers’ powers would continue unaffected.
  4. No reference is made as to how or by whom any new management body would be deemed to be experienced and competent enough to run the New Forest.
  5. Apart from suggesting that any new management body might “pursue income generating activities in the Forest” no detail is given as to how adequate funding might be made available to run the New Forest in the long term.
  6. No definite information is given as to how the current levels of public access would be maintained.

We are also deeply concerned by the power that would be granted to the Government by the proposed Public Bodies Act as it appears that it could be used to override the existing New Forest Acts and we are making moves to include an amendment to the bill stating “Nothing in this Act shall prejudice or derogate from the provisions of the New Forest Acts 1877 to 1970 or any byelaw made thereunder, or s.4 of the Agriculture & Forestry (Financial Provisions) Act 1991.”

We would therefore ask the Verderers to reject the consultation as it stands now and support our efforts to ensure that the Public Bodies Bill is not allowed to threaten the existing New Forest Acts which are the legal basis of their powers.

Note: The NFA, established in 1867, is one of the oldest conservation organisations in the world. It is an independent charity with over 900 members. Campaign for National Parks recognises NFA as the New Forest National Park society.

Current Links to Other Organizations Comments on the Forestry Commission sell-off

CPRE Ministers not out of the woods yet

RSPB We’re not out of the woods yet, RSPB warns

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust: The Wildlife Trusts’ response to the Government’s proposals on the ownership and management of England’s public forest estate

Sussex Wildlife Trust: Wild Comment: Forestry Commission Sell-Off

The Woodland Trust: Forestry Commission consultation response – The Woodland Trust

Our Chairman, William Zeigler has got quotes into some papers:

Guardian Forest sell-off plans met with huge opposition

Daily Echo “Selling off the New Forest could stop it being free to use”

NFA Nestboxes available

Fix sturdy Nestboxes now for winter roosting. Various types for £5 ea. All proceeds to NFA funds to fight major proposed developments in or around the New Forest.

Phone Graham Baker on 01590 623935 or email brookleyfarmhouse@btinternet.com.

Personalised NFA Christmas Cards

The Christmas Cards shown are available personalised with your address. Cards come in packs of 10 with envelopes at £3.00 delivered; the minimum quantity for personalized cards is 40. The cards measure six inches by four. The photographs are by the late Terry Heathcote and depict the following New Forest Scenes – Binken Wood near Lyndhurst, Foulford Bottom in the north of the Forest and Commoner’s Cattle probably near Brockenhurst.

The detail inside of the card is as follows –

Best Wishes for
Christmas & the New Year

If you would like to order please Email details, including your address as you wish it shown, to brookleyfarmhouse@btinternet.com. Or phone Graham Baker on 01590 623935. Samples are available and all proceeds go to NFA funds.

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