Society management

The New Forest Show Society may run campsites in the area

TEN New Forest campsites should be run by the organization that puts on the biggest summer show in the area.

Forestry England (FE) is set to regain full control of the facilities previously run by the Camping and Caravan Club through its Camping in the Forest operation.

FE bosses are deciding who should run the campsites for the next ten years.

Now the organization’s highest-ranking officer in the district, Assistant Surveyor Craig Harrison, has announced the New Forest Agricultural Show Society as the preferred choice.

Forestry England-owned campsites in the New Forest could be run by the charity that organizes the New Forest Show.Hollands Wood is one of the campsites owned by Forestry England which could be run by the New Forest Agricultural Show Society.

Speaking at the Court of Verderers, Mr Harrison said several companies had bids for the license to operate Hollands Wood and other major facilities in the area.

The Society organizes the three-day New Forest and Hampshire County Show, which attracts at least 90,000 spectators each year.

It also runs a 100-pitch campsite in New Park, Brockenhurst, where the show takes place.

Mr Harrison confirmed that the charity, through his trading company Camping in the New Forest Ltd, had reached the next round of negotiations.

He added: “We hope to be able to officially name them in October.

“Once the appointment of the new operator is confirmed, the immediate priorities will be to prepare for the 2023 season and the implementation of existing management plans to take care of the venues.”

Forestry England-owned campsites in the New Forest could be run by the charity that organizes the New Forest Show.The New Forest Show and the Hampshire County Show are held at New Park, Brockenhurst. Image: Akinson Action/New Forest Show

Mr Harrison said FE wanted to ensure a more sustainable future for the facilities.

“Our goal remains to find a long-term solution so that people can enjoy their stay in the forest, better understand and value its special qualities, and at the same time ensure that its special qualities are protected from inappropriate activities” , did he declare.

The official Verderer, Lord Manners, welcomed the prospect of the Society running the campsites.

“We believe it will bring much more opportunities for local cooperation and accountability,” he said.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Friends of the New Forest say three sites – Hollands Wood Longbeech and Denny Wood – are disturbing wildlife and should be closed.

Forestry England-owned campsites in the New Forest could be run by the charity that organizes the New Forest Show.The official Verderer, Lord Manners. Photo: Stuart Morning

The Commoners’ Defense Association, which represents owners of ponies and cattle that roam the district, has also raised concerns.

President Charlotte Lines said: “Increased urbanization of these campsites is changing the very fabric of the forest.”

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