The New Forest National Park welcomes 13 million visitors each year. It is home to over 20 campsites totalling more than 5,000 pitches. Campers make a very significant contribution to the locally economy bringing in an estimated £12.5 million each year to Forest businesses.
Saira Sheldrake, the New Forest National Park Authority’s Recreation Officer, said: ‘Wild camping was banned in the early 1970s to protect the New Forest’s special landscape.
‘However the wide range of campsites we have here mean there is still the chance to camp in a wild and ancient landscape, bringing people closer to nature and the New Forest.
‘The key challenge is to make sure that camping doesn’t have an adverse impact on this special area and that it doesn’t destroy the unique character of the New Forest – the very thing that visitors come to see and enjoy.
‘We are asking all our camping visitors to consider six simple steps to green camping in the New Forest.’
Green Camping Tips
1. Packing Green
Less stuff means more fun! Avoid bringing any unnecessary things that could end up as waste. Buy reusable products - avoid things that you use and throw away.
2. Buying Green
Help support the local economy and reduce airmiles by looking out for New Forest Marque products – the sign of good quality New Forest food and merchandise.
3. Cycling Green
Come ‘on yer bike’ or hire one at the many cycle hire centres around the New Forest. There are a wealth of cycle trails to enjoy: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/
4. Travelling Green
Leave the car at home and use public transport to get to the campsite. With four stations in the National Park and the Waterloo-Weymouth mainline stopping at Brockenhurst in the heart of the Forest, there’s no excuse not to take a train trip and book a pre-pitched tent. For information on rail and bus connections to the New Forest visit: http://www.thenewforest.co.uk/
Try trip-sharing. Consider organising a lift-share by car from any part of the country via one of the many car sharing websites.
If you have to drive to your campsite, why not leave your car at the site and try the New Forest tour bus which includes discounts at attractions:
5. Power Green
Use a wind-up torch or a wind-up LED lantern.
Use rechargeable batteries.
Consider bringing a portable solar charger for phones, mp3 players, and cameras.
Recycle your batteries.
6. Clean Green
Separate waste at your campsite into the correct bins if a waste facility is available or head for the nearest recycling bank. Leave no trace - leave your campsite cleaner than you found it.
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646600
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The New Forest National Park lies mainly in south-west Hampshire; it is famous for its stunning landscapes,wildlife,coastline & picturesque villages. It is the eighth national park in England and the first in the south-east to be created for nearly 50yrs.