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 Map - here
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:
The Forestry Commission
The Queen’s House
Telephone 0300 067 4601