Rural Services Network

RSN is the national champion for rural services, ensuring that people in rural areas have a strong voice. They are fighting for a fair deal for rural communities to maintain their social and economic viability for the benefit of the nation as a whole. You cna find more information on the Rural Services Network here:

Throughout all of the RSN work, we campaign for our rural communities and services.  We believe that there are 8 key elements which make up a vibrant rural community. 

We also recognise that rural communities experience a number of rural inequalities which create Rural Vulnerability and this is a cross cutting issue across all of our priorities:

Click on each of the elements below to find out more about our priority areas and what we believe Government and other bodies can do to help!

NALC and LGA launch new guide to tackle loneliness

 NALC has launched a new joint guide with the Local Government Association (LGA) on tackling loneliness.

In October 2018, the government launched its first-ever strategy on loneliness, making it clear that responsibility for tackling loneliness cuts across more than one ministerial department.

The Reaching out guide responds to the national strategy and outlines various ways local (parish and town) councils and principal authorities can work together.

The guide has practical advice, guidance and case studies, and focusses four key themes:

Making Connections – finding ways to reach and understand the needs of those experiencing loneliness
Making a Difference – providing services that directly improve the number and quality of relationships that people have
Linking Up – giving support such as transport and technology to help sustain connections
The Right Environment – creating the right structures and conditions locally to support those affected by, or at risk of, loneliness.

Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “To take forward the national strategy we must recognise that local activity is already underway. But we must redouble our efforts to work more effectively, and in partnership across local government if we are to see a real change in tackling loneliness.”

Loneliness is one of society’s most significant challenges; it reduces the quality of life and has an impact on health and wellbeing – it can affect anyone of any age, loneliness is not just about older people.

Read The Guide

NPA Building Skills Talks

The New Forest National Park Authority and local buildings expert Kevin Stubbs are delivering a series of evening talks for homeowners in the New Forest.

The talks are part of the Building Skills project, one of 21 projects being delivered through the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme. The project is informing local people of the importance of traditional buildings to the area’s character whilst providing knowledge of specialist repair techniques. This information is helping conserve and enhance the local distinctiveness of the settlements within the Forest as they raise awareness and encourage sensitive repair and management.

The series of evening talks begins in November on Wednesday evenings in Brockenhurst Village Hall. The subjects that will be covered are as follows:

  • New Forest cob, thatch, flint and stone Wednesday 20 November, 7pm – 9.30pm.
  • New Forest brick, mortar, plasters and renders Wednesday 4 December, 7pm – 9.30pm.
  • New Forest timber framed buildings and timber roof structure Wednesday 15 January, 7pm – 9.30pm.
  • New Forest tile, slate and lead roof coverings Wednesday 29 January, 7pm – 9.30pm.
  • New Forest building details and finishes Wednesday 12 February, 7pm – 9.30pm.

If you would like to attend one or more of these evenings, please visit our training webpage to book your place: . The cost of a ticket is £5 per person, and you can buy a ticket for all six evenings for £25. If you would like more information, please contact Richard Austin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01590 664661)

112 Bus Replacement - Feedback needed

As you may know the Saturday 112 services ceased operation at the end of March 2019. Boldre Parish Council (BPC), working with East Boldre PC, has been investigating ways this service might be replaced.

We believe, broadly, that two main groups of passengers have been affected:

  • Young residents who relied on the bus to attend work in Lymington on Saturdays
  • Older residents who used the bus to attend the hospital, or Saturday market & shops, in Lymington

Several options have been proposed, including:

  • A replacement taxi service * Car sharing (e.g. Go Car Share)
  • Use of school or Community First minibuses
  • Car services via a Good Neighbours Network, or Lymington Voluntary Care Group (01590 679187) for those with medical appointments

We need to establish the level of demand for a replacement service, and ask for your thoughts on the following points:

  • How often would you use the new service?

  • Where would you travel from/to?

  • What times would you need to travel?

  • How often did you use the Saturday 112 service?

  • How often do you use the weekday 112 service? 

If you have other ideas on how we can address this, please let us know as your input would be very welcome. Paper versions of this questionnaire are available at the Community Shop. Alternatively, you can provide feedback via:

Mail: Parish Clerk, Boldre Parish Council, c/o Community Shop, PILLEY, Lymington, SO41 5QP

Online: Contact Us


Proposed HLS Verge Restoration works - Norley, East End and Pilley Bailey

The Forestry Commission have been undertaking a programme of verge restoration works across the forest. Working with various partner organisations – Verderers, Natural England, New Forest National Park, Parish Councils, CDA, Residents and local staff, a number of areas have been identified as requiring some verge restoration measures to stop further vehicle damage. These works are funded under the New Forest Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS).

The New Forest is of international importance for nature conservation, including its miles of roadside verges and outside of properties. Unauthorised parking causes erosion of precious protected habitats damaging rare and declining plant and animal species. Vehicle damage to grass verges also has a harmful impact on their grazing value and on the overall landscape.

The Forestry Commission has a legal duty to protect the New Forest under its conservation designations. The works are necessary to prevent any further erosion to the SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and allow the forest to recover back to its natural condition.

There are a number of areas within Boldre Parish which have been highlighted as requiring some verge restoration and these have been developed into a programme of remedial works including re-profiling existing car free banks and ditches that have eroded over the years, and creating new banks where erosion has been caused by vehicle movements. The list of areas is shown below, with links to maps showing further location details:

  • Norley Wood Road at St Leonards end – Dragons teeth eroded lay by.
  • Furzey Lane – some parking on forest, poss. DT.
  • Forest Heath – verge parking – low barrier to allow access to field gate. Ranswood – Poss. DT in front of properties, move signage nearer the pound.
  • Coombe Gate Farm, St Leonards and Gengis – DT to stop further erosion.
  • Old Chapel – Staddle Stones – DT outside leaving enough room for tanker deliveries – start DT’s near drain.
  • Clovelly – Replace old DT’s and move closer to the road.
  • Old Bake House/2 Forest View – DT extended lay by near bus shelter.
  • Ryegate – Poss. DT to create bell mouth.
  • Windrush – DT’s up to Sheepwash Cottage remove layby opposite.
  • Rockford Stream Cott – DT informal layby – poss. remove tarmac?
  • Norley – Remove old DT’s and replace to .5m from road from telephone box to Norley Wood Cottage, around green opposite to cottage and both sides of the road to road sign. DT off informal laybys and bell mouth inclosure gate entrances.
  • Pilley Bailey/Monks Lane – Move sign to end of the road near the triangle. Install another barrier across road towards Pound, reditch down to the old barrier and link ditching to help with surface water. If this is not viable can DT .5m from road edge. Vegetation on corner could do with cutting back.
  • Pilley Post Office – Grace Cottage install DT’s to protect area in front of properties adjacent to the lay by.
  • May Lane – Remove old DT’s and reposition closer to side of road, redo triangle opposite.

Norley Wood Maphere

Pilley Bailey Map - here

Care will be taken to lift and relay sections of turf where there are sensitive habitats. In other locations Dragon’s Teeth (small wooden posts made from FSC Chestnut) will be installed – these measures have been agreed and endorsed by the Verderers, Natural England and New Forest National Park and CDA. The Forestry Commission have started the liaison process with Boldre residents who adjoin the proposed works. 

Once measures have been installed the Forestry Commission will continue to monitor the effectiveness of this work and gather feedback from all parties.

Comments on the propsals should be addressed to:

HLS Team

The Forestry Commission
The Queen’s House
SO43 7NH

Telephone 0300 067 4601
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.