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Education and Understanding

Education and Understanding

The Association acknowledges the need to educate and inform the public. However, there is a fine line to be drawn between increasing understanding of the Forest by the local community and visitors, so that their enjoyment of the Forest is enhanced; and promoting recreation within the Forest in ways that could lead to harmful increases in activity. The impacts of many activities within the Forest, from camping to organised events or daily visits, such as for dog walking, have been poorly monitored or assessed in the past. There is a need for more methodical surveys to increase understanding about the impacts of various forms of organised and informal recreation within the Forest. The Association believes that the National Park Authority has an important role to play in this respect.

We support:

  • Education and information to increase understanding and appreciation of the Forest’s special qualities, landscapes and habitats, so as to foster enjoyment of these for their own sake.
  • Reviewing the education, interpretation, and information policies of the National Park Authority, New Forest District Council and the Forestry Commission to ensure that they are consistent, well co-ordinated and framed to foster quiet recreation in ways that conserve the special qualities of the Forest.
  • Carrying out impact assessments of the effect of recreation and tourism on the New Forest, to provide an evidence base for future management.

We oppose:

  • Promoting the New Forest in ways likely to lead to increased pressure or harmful activity.

We will promote understanding and appreciation of the New Forest through our leaflets and other publications and by our presence at local shows in and around the Forest. We will initiate and collaborate with others to carry out research or surveys to increase understanding about changes to the Forest and the impacts of various activities upon it.