Minister discusses New Forest coastal issues

Barry Gardiner MP, Minister for Biodiversity, Landscapes and Rural Affairs, discussed the Solent coastline when he visited the New Forest to mark its designation as a national park.

The recently redrawn New Forest boundary runs almost to the Bournemouth Coast Path at Milford-on-Sea and embraces the start the Solent Way on Pennington Marshes.

The minister, having received a briefing from the New Forest National Park Authority at Queen’s House in Lyndhurst about the main challenges facing the Park, met key partners including the Verderers over lunch in the historic Verderers’ Hall.

Afterwards Mr Gardiner went on a short tour of the Beaulieu Road area in the south of the Forest led by members and senior staff from National Park Authority. Issues highlighted included coastal access and climate change.

Lindsay Cornish, Chief Executive of the National Park Authority, said: “As England’s newest, smallest and most densely-populated National Park, the New Forest faces a number of unique challenges which we will need the Minister’s help to tackle. This visit gave us an ideal opportunity to show the Minister these challenges first-hand.”

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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