People with an interest in the New Forest’s special habitats and wildlife are invited to find out more about the achievements of a unique £19m environment scheme.
The Verderers of the New Forest’s Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme has been running for the last decade and is now in its final year. It works to protect and enhance the internationally-important habitats which support a wide number of rare species.
The HLS agreement with Natural England is held by the Verderers of the New Forest. The scheme is managed by them in partnership with Forestry England and the New Forest National Park Authority.
Held at Minstead Village Hall, members of the public and representatives of local organisations are invited to drop in during the evening of Wednesday 22 May. They can talk with people involved in the scheme and browse stalls from each of the projects:
• Supporting commoners, who own the free-roaming animals in the New Forest
• Restoring wetland habitats
• Removing invasive plants which crowd out our native plants
• Restoring habitats, including clearing rhododendron and non-native pine trees
• Land Advice Service, helping land owners and managers with grants, advice and practical work.
The Official Verderer Lord Willie Manners will be detailing some of the year’s highlights in a speech and certificates will be presented to the scheme’s volunteers who play a vital role in its success.
Minstead Village Hall is at Lyndhurst Road, Minstead, SO43 7FX, and the open evening is from 6pm to 8pm.
To find out more about the HLS scheme visit www.hlsnewforest.org.uk.
1. The role of the Verderers of the New Forest is to protect and administer the New Forest’s unique agricultural commoning practices; to conserve its traditional landscape, wildlife and aesthetic character, including its flora and fauna, peacefulness, natural beauty and cultural heritage; and to safeguard a viable future for commoning. www.verderers.org.uk
2. The New Forest National Park Authority works with partners to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park and to promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities. It also has a duty to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park. www.newforestnpa.gov.uk
3. Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 230 million visits per year. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and are enhancing forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. For more information visit forestryengland.uk. Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission.
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608