|This month’s announcements include warnings about dumping apples and garden waste on the Forest as a hazard to the livestock, the upcoming Verderers Election, positive changes to the HLS Verderers Grazing Scheme subsidy, and the continuing appointment of the NFNPA Verderer.|
19th September 2018
APPLES & OTHER WINDFALL FRUITS
The Verderers regularly draw attention to the problems that result from the public feeding ponies on the Forest. At this time of year, there is often a glut of apples. I would like to draw people’s attention to the particular dangers associated with dumping apples on the Forest. Apples in quantity, such as a bag of windfalls, can cause colic in horses. A whole apple can cause choking. Leaving apples close to the roadside attracts animals onto the public highway and into danger from passing vehicles.
Dumping garden waste on the Open Forest also presents a hazard to stock as many garden plants are toxic. In addition, it constitutes fly tipping. We ask residents and those undertaking gardening and landscaping to please dispose of their waste responsibly – at the local tip please, not the Forest.
The Election of two Verderers, will be held on Friday, 30th November, when the terms of office of Dionis Macnair and David Readhead come to an end.
The deadline for registering to vote at our election was Monday, the day before yesterday. However, as we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote, registration forms will continue to be accepted until this Friday 21st September. The Draft Electoral Register has to be finalised in time for it to be sent out to the public offices for public viewing from Monday 1st October. The fact that you may have been registered for previous elections does not count, and therefore, to be able to vote this year, you must register now. There are some spare registration forms on the table at the front of the Court.
I hope we will see a strong turnout at the election and I ask all those present to help spread the word so that as many people as possible are able to vote. I very much hope the press will also help by giving publicity to this important event.
For anyone wishing to stand for election, the deadline for the delivery of nomination papers is Noon on Tuesday 6th November and I will issue a reminder at the October Court. Anyone requiring further information, should contact the Verderers’ Office, or the Office of the Returning Officer, Mrs Rachel Brooks at the Under Sheriff’s Office in Romsey.
CHANGES TO CURRENT VGS RATES 2019
The VGS Committee & the Court of Verderers have agreed to amend the Verderers Grazing Scheme Livestock Unit rates payable in December 2019. As the 2018 application forms have already been returned for payments due this December, these changes cannot be implemented until 2019. Application forms will be sent out next February. The Court felt it is important to let VGS members know of these changes before the coming winter as it may impact on their stocking level decisions.
The change to Livestock Unit (LU) rates allows the VGS to increase the incentive for Registered New Forest Mares and reduce the incentive for large numbers of cattle and non-registered equines. The overall pot of money remains the same and the result will be that more members will gain than lose.
The following changes are to apply;
Registered New Forest Mare or Stallion from 0.8 to 1 LU (livestock unit)
No Marking Fee return for any other female equines (including donkeys). Geldings are already excluded.
Cattle to remain at 1 LU but a payment limit introduced of 40 head of cattle per individual commoner
Copies of the amended VGS terms and conditions are available on the table at the front of the Court.
We are pleased to announce that Cllr Edward Heron’s term of office as the New Forest National Park’s Appointed Verderer, has been extended for a further year.
|We particularly welcome renewed statements on perennial issues such as mostly well meaning but entirely misguided dumping of green waste on the Forest in the mistaken notion that it helps feed the Forest livestock. There is no positive in this, rotting greenwaste can poison livestock, and drawing livestock to roadside and other amenity locations endangers them and disrupts natural feeding patterns. Regulated supplementary feeding is agreed at locations away from public interaction, and even this practice is questionably and may soon be phased out or reduced. The livestock are there to graze the Forest, and the habitat produced by their grazing and trampling patterns is a key part of the biodiversity of the Forest.
Along side this we also welcome changes to Commoners subsidy which should reward the stewardship provided by their livestock, but not be entirely based on headcount. capping the cattle subsidy may go some way to address areas which have possibly been over poached.
We thank the Verderers for their kind permission to occasionally include their announcements as guest posts here, as we hope we can help highlight the vital role they play on the Forest.