New Forest Water Wildlife Month

Throughout July the Freshwater Habitats Trust will be holding events every weekend to celebrate the extraordinary freshwater plants and animals of the New Forest. Each event will allow you to discover more about your local ponds, rivers and streams through talks, surveys, water quality tests and more. Take part and experience first-hand some of the Forest’s amazing wetland plants and animals. All the events are completely free, but booking is required.

For more information please visit:

Consultation for Bird Aware Solent

This consultation is for Bird Aware Solent, which comprises the fifteen Solent local authorities (including the New Forest National Park Authority), and Natural England, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and Chichester Harbour Conservancy. Bird Aware Solent is a partnership formed to reduce disturbance to birds spending the winter on the Solent coast.

The Solent is internationally important for its wildlife. Each winter it hosts over 90,000 waders and wildfowl within its 3 Special Protection Areas (SPAs). With proposed new housebuilding around the Solent SPAs, the impact of additional recreational visits to the coast is likely to be lead to increased disturbance to these birds, which may leave them unable to migrate to their summer breeding homes, and ultimately to a decline in their populations.

An interim strategy was put in place by the Solent Recreation Mitigation Partnership (SRMP) to provide interim mitigation for this. Funding comes from financial contributions made by housing developers for each new dwelling they build within 5.6 kilometres (3.5 miles) of the coastal SPAs. Work to date funded by the interim strategy includes a dedicated team of rangers working with members of the public along the Solent coastline, a number of public events and dedicated research and monitoring on a variety of topics.

A definitive strategy has now been proposed to fulfil the need to fund mitigation measures in the area in perpetuity. After much research, a strategic approach to mitigation has been devised between the local authorities encompassing the wider Solent region and the nature conservation organisations. This approach seeks to raise awareness of the importance of the birds and how small changes in behaviour can allow us all to keep enjoying the coastline whilst allowing the birds to continue thriving.

From Monday 17 July to Sunday the 17 September interested parties – from local residents to property developers and land owners – can have their say on the definitive strategy to mitigate the recreational impact of new housing around the three Special Protection Areas (SPAs) across the Solent.

To take part, simply access the consultation online at

Shallows Lane Consultation Open

The consultation period for the prohibition of driving in Shallows Lane, Boldre is now open. Full details of the order may be found here:

Any comments should be made to Hampshire County Council quoting reference A104/SL by 28th July.

Comments must be in writing to Stuart Jarvis, Director of Economy, Transport and Environment, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UD (Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Hampshire County Council - Balancing the Budget Consultation

Hampshire County Council is asking for residents’ and stakeholders’ views on high level, strategic options for balancing its budget. The closing date is 11:59pm on Monday 21 August 2017.

Due to ongoing national austerity measures; demographic changes reflecting increases in demand for some services; and inflationary pressures, by April 2019 the County Council will be facing an anticipated budget shortfall of £140 million. With less money available and growing demand for council services, tough decisions will need to be made about what the County Council can and cannot do in the future.

Your feedback will help to inform the approach the County Council takes to balancing its budget. Any changes to specific services will be subject to further, more detailed consultation.

Complete the consultation online

Paper copies of the Information Pack and Response Form are available to download and printor may be requested by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 0300 555 1375. Calls charged at local rate.

Full details can be found here:

Future Forest Consultation

Some big issues are facing the New Forest in the coming years. The organisations with the main remit for both protecting the National Park and enabling people to enjoy it need your help to:

  • provide the best recreational experience for local people and our visitors
  • protect the very thing these people come to see – the spectacular, yet fragile landscape which is a haven for many rare wildlife species
  • ensure limited resources are spent wisely.

The current approach is described in the Recreation Management Strategy 2010-2030. We need to agree a much smaller number of high priority tasks alongside others that are more ‘business as usual’. As you take part in the consultation, please share your thoughts about what would be best for the long term future of the New Forest as a whole, as well as your personal interests.

You can leave feedback here:


9 June to 13 August 2017: An initial ‘call for views’ to ask people about the overall rationale for managing recreation across the whole of the New Forest and surrounding areas, and to guide the development of revised and prioritised actions.

  • Autumn/winter 2017/18: The update to the Strategy is drafted to reflect the feedback.
  • 2018: Public consultation on the draft update.