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About us

Verderers logo Forestry Commission logo New Forest National Park Authority logo

The New Forest Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Scheme is the largest environmental improvement scheme in England. It supports the ancient tradition of commoning and is restoring internationally-important New Forest habitats.

Partnership

The Verderers of the New Forest (Higher Level Stewardship) scheme is managed through a formal partnership between the Verderers, the Forestry Commission and the New Forest National Park Authority.

This is because in the New Forest:

  • the Crown Lands are managed by the Forestry Commission
  • the Verderers have the statutory authority from Government to manage the use of the land
  • the National Park Authority has overall responsibility for the management of the whole of the New Forest National Park.

The scheme is worth £19m and runs for ten years until 2020, covering 20,000 hectares of open heathland unequalled in Europe for the complexity and range of wildlife and plant life.

AGM

Partnership Board

The scheme is overseen by a Board drawn from the chief executives of the partner organisations. The Board is supported by a Programme Administrator who operates the whole of the programme on behalf of the Board.

For more details about the administration of the scheme, see Meetings and Minutes.

Our aims

The five main objectives for the Higher Level Stewardship are:

  • Wildlife conservation
  • Protection of the historic environment
  • Maintenance and enhancement of landscape quality and character
  • Promote public access and understanding
  • Resource protection.

Higher Level Stewardship Agreement

File type icon Higher Level Stewardship Agreement (557.87 KB)

Annual reports

annual reports for HLS scheme

File type icon HLS Annual Report 2015 (286.32 KB)

File type icon HLS Annual Report 2014-15 (368.11 KB)

File type icon Annual report 2013-14 (404.02 KB)

File type icon Annual report 2012-13 (823.89 KB)

File type icon Annual report 2011-12 (1.3 MB)