On the 22nd April the council welcomed some parishioners to a talk by Catherine Chatters from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife trust for a presentation about the New Forest Non-Native Plant Project.

It was an enjoyable evening and the council thanks Catherine for joining us.

If you would like a copy of her presentation - please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Chairman addressed the room with his speech, which can be pdfDownloaded or viewed below

2024 Annual Assembly - Chair’s Report

Boldre Parish Council

As ever, it has been a busy year for Boldre Parish Council. Prior to the May Elections two councillors – Patrick Kempe and Oliver Moore – said they would stand down, both worked with the council for many years, contributing significantly to the Community. But we are fortunate to retain Oliver’s services as IT Officer!

A New Council was formed in May; we welcomed Robert White as a newly elected member.  We were also lucky to co-opt Martin Manning a couple of months later – but there remained a vacancy on the Council through the year.

Boldre Fete – July 1 – saw all the work associated with the Playpark – design, planning, dismantling, fundraising, construction – come to fruition with the official opening of what we now know as Phase 1. Donna Mortimer cut the ribbon (not sure who had the job of clearing the children away for the photos!). But a big thank you to Sherwin and the Amenities team for all their work.

BPC had a stand at the Fete – with the aim of explaining what we do and how we work to raise our profile with local people. A couple of weeks later Pamela Keen was invited to attend an end of term event at Southlands School and receive a donation to the Playpark Fund. These were the early stages in a plan to engage more effectively with the local community. Spearheaded by Victoria, the Parish Clerk – our programme of Community Engagement continued through:

  • A consultation with local young people about development of the recreation area
  • A Meeting at Boldre Hall for New Forest Parish Councils, addressed by figures from the New Forest National Park, Hampshire County Council and New Forest Marque
  • An Open Evening for local residents to discuss local priorities while enjoying mince pies!
  • A Bulb Planting session on a wintery Saturday. But some volunteers came back for more on Sunday! And the doubters were thwarted by many late, but successful blooms.
  • A Planning for Resilience meeting to develop our Emergency Plan, addressed by SSE and Hampshire Police – well attended with a room full of residents.

The Planning Team has continued to advise the Council with a consistently rigorous approach to planning and heritage issues. There are an ever increasing number of cases to deal with and applicants (and objectors) regularly attend Council Meetings  - so it is important to get it right ! Our Tree Officer has been active throughout the year – offering advice to the Council and ensuring as far as possible that trees across the area are protected and healthy.

The Council adopted a Highways Strategy this year and despite many frustrations, there have been a couple of ‘wins’ on the target list for this year (Jordan and Monks Lane re-surfacing was not a target!). The Council is heavily reliant on Hampshire Highways and Countryside Services and we have had a clear message that funding for projects will not be available. The proliferation of problems on the adopted roads – potholes, flooding and drains – has been annoying for many, but I cannot be confident that things ‘Can Only Get Better!’

The Council has continued to host football on the Recreation Ground – Lymington Sprites have played and trained regularly and we have also hosted others including NMO  (New Milton Orange) from New Milton. It is great to have the pitches and pavilion being used regularly again. However the work involved in making football possible in Pilley represents a huge commitment of time and effort by Adrian and Sherwin.

Moving forward the plan is to develop ‘Phase 2’ of the Playpark. The intention is to broaden the appeal of the park with exercise, sport and gym equipment and facilities. The Council has been successful in bids for funding – from NFDC, confirmed a couple of weeks ago, and a Community Infrastructure Levy grant - confirmed Friday. BPC will contribute from Reserves and from Fundraising. It is an exciting project and we are especially fortunate to have been awarded significant sums, in the current environment, to support the development.

The Council have been planning work with Community Payback to provide some maintenance and improvements around the parish. There are also plans to improve the natural environment around the recreation area – some new wildflowers on the mounds by the playpark; clearance of some scrub to facilitate a ‘nature trail’ and replacement trees and hedging on the north of the Ground.

There have been significant challenges and frustrations through the year and the financial environment and circumstances in which Councils are operating will continue to be difficult, but we are well supported by Adrian and Victoria and there are some clear plans to work on. There are many reasons to be optimistic.

Vincent Slattery

BPC Chair 2023-24