Making a promise to the environment
Tourism businesses who have made a commitment to protecting the New Forest attended a training day organised by the New Forest National Park Authority.
Their day started with a journey on the New Forest Tour’s new red route visiting Burley, Ringwood, Fordingbridge and Ashurst. Whilst on board they listened to commentary about the culture and history of the area through a new GPS activated audio and learnt more about how important the Tour is to the local economy and reducing traffic on New Forest roads.
Businesses then visited the New Forest Cider Press tea rooms to learn about local New Forest Marque food and listened to a talk by Barry Topp, from New Forest Cider.
Paul McDaid, Our Land Project Officer, said: ‘The aim of Our Land is to develop memorable experiences for visitors which are linked to the special qualities of the National Park – protecting the landscape and benefiting the economy.
‘There will be a series of training days for Our Land members to encourage greater shared knowledge, promotion and understanding of the New Forest National Park. This in turn will benefit their customers who book accommodation with Our Land providers.’
Christine Bennett, member of Our Land and owner of Burgate Farmhouse near Fordingbridge, said: ‘It was a really great way of finding out more about the New Forest Tour and meet fellow businesses that have embraced the Our Land project. We also picked up menus from the brilliant Cider Press tea rooms that we can give to our guests. All in all the day was a huge success and we are looking forward to meeting the Our Land members again soon.’
The scheme is backed by nearly £1 million of Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) funding and is being rolled out in nine protected landscapes in the South East of England.
Tourism business can join the site for free and benefit from marketing at a national scale. If you are interested in joining visit http://www.ourland.co.uk or email email@example.com.
The New Forest Tour is running until the 16 September. A range of flexible ticket options is available including a two-day ticket valid on both routes (adults £14), and group tickets for up to five people of £28 a day visit www.thenewforesttour.info.
Notes to Editor:
Our Land: There are currently 50 businesses signed up to Our Land in the New Forest.
Every experience listed on Our Land has been selected because it promises to tell you the stories of the landscape through its food, buildings, history, people and wildlife. Written by the people you’ll meet during your visit and carefully screened by local field-experts, you can be sure that by having an Our Land experience you are protecting rural communities, as well as other much-loved features in our landscapes.
The New Forest Tour: Recent research identified that over 147,000 private car miles were saved by the New Forest Tour in 2011 and that its customers generated a contribution of nearly £500,000 to the local economy.
It has been a continuing success, growing from 9,000 passenger journeys in 2006 to nearly 34,000 last year.
New Forest Marque:
A product is only licensed to use the Marque® if:
-it contains at least 25 per cent New Forest produce
-it has met stringent standards according to its particular speciality (for example, meat producers must show that high standards of welfare and good husbandry have been applied at all times).
Managed by the New Forest National Park Authority the award scheme was created by New Forest Produce Limited to:
-give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce
-encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances
-help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment.
For more information on the New Forest Marque and who is part of the Marque visit http://www.newforestproduce.co.uk.
About the New Forest National Park Authority
Protect - Enjoy - Prosper
The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:
-Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
-Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.
We also have a duty to:
-Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.
The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.
Visit http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650