BPC representatives met with Mr Steve Avery - Executive Director (Strategy & Planning) - New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) to discuss the draft Management Plan for the New Forest for the five years from 2021. This shared plan follows similar plans made in 2010 and 2015 and includes environmental, social, climatic, biodiversity, conservation and nature issues.
The plan aims cover nature, habitats and damage recovery toward a net zero carbon profile across the forest. BPC welcomed proposals to ensure more joined up action between the various groups involved in running the New Forest National Park. BPC noted the increased pressures on the New Forest from increasing visitor numbers. It was suggested that additional “Country Parks” like Moors Valley might help with this. Mr Avery noted that a review of current car parking on the forest would be included as part of this plan. The consultation period for this scheme closes on 3rd September and Parishioners are encouraged to participate.
BPC received an update from the Highways group. BPC will be reviewing any hedges encroaching the highway in the next month, and writing to the riparian owners to remind them of their obligations. BPC also welcomed the new HGV signage erected at Sandy Down, and hopes that this will reduce the damage to verges.
The Amenities group updated on activities with the recreation ground. A meeting has been held with the NPA to discuss any planning consideration around the new play area. A new contract with Lymington Sprites for the use of the recreation ground was discussed. It was agreed that a small area of the recreation ground would be planted with wildflowers in September.
The date for the next Parish Council meeting is September 13th. This will be an in-person meeting as it is no longer possible for Councillors or the Public to participate remotely due to Government legislation. Members of the public are welcome to attend but will be required to follow COVID restrictions or recommended advice when doing so.