CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
The New Forest is in theory protected by byelaws that aim to conserve the Forest, preserve its tranquillity, and regulate recreational use – the Forestry Commission, the National Trust and the Verderers all issue and can enforce byelaws. Yet with an increase in those visiting the Forest, it is clear that few know what they say and unfortunately, they are often overlooked or ignored.
In October 2021 the Friends of the New Forest conducted a pilot survey that recorded almost 3,000 breaches of the Byelaws – and we know that is an under-recording!
This pilot has already provided useful independent evidence to highlight the importance of byelaws and has attracted both local and national press attention, but more independent evidence is needed to raise awareness of the byelaws and support effective measures to protect the Forest against those activities causing most concern.
WE NEED YOUR HELP to repeat the Byelaw Watch this summer
Concentrating on the Forestry Commission byelaws, we need volunteers willing to record the byelaw breaches they observe in two ways.
You can participate by:
Free-Range Recording – when you are about and about in the Forest – perhaps walking, bird watching, or horse riding – record the breaches you observe.
We have a simple online form to use with details of the Byelaws causing the most concern. The form can be accessed and completed online using your smart phone, tablet or computer using this link:
BYELAWS WATCH FORM
The survey may be completed on any date between 26th July and 31st August 2022. You may submit as many forms as you wish.
If you find it easier, you can print out this short PAPER BYELAWS WATCH FORM form to record what you see and then either send this to us or submit the results using the online form when you get home. All you need to do is record what you have seen and submit it to us, we will do the rest.
Fixed Site Recording – sit for an hour or so at popular sites in the Forest over the Bank Holiday weekend and record the breaches you observe. The number of sites we survey will depend on the number of volunteers but will include places like Boltons Bench and Bolderwood.
This survey will run in increments of one hour between 9.00am and 5.00pm
To take part in this survey please email your name to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will send you more information
The raw data from these surveys will only be accessible to Council Members of the Friends of the New Forest and will be compliant with GDPR requirements, and only appropriately anonymised and aggregated data and photos will be provided to the New Forest authorities and released to the public.
Thank you in advance for taking part in the Byelaw Watch 2022. Your participation is vitally important to inform the future protection of the New Forest.