Title - Announcements

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Announcements, news and media releases


Please direct all enquiries regarding Announcements and Press Releases to the Clerk to the Verderers using the Contact page.


HIT-AND-RUN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ON THE B3055 AT LATCHMOOR BROCKENHURST.

On Tuesday, 16th September 2014, at approximately 8:30pm a dark bay mule was hit by two vehicles and killed, on the B3055 at Latchmoor, Brockenhurst. The first vehicle, an Audi, hit the mule with such force that the car left the road from where Agister Maton recovered broken Audi trims. The vehicle drove off leaving the mule dying in the middle of the road. A witness saw a second vehicle, a silver Mercedes type, hit and kill the mule which was in the road struggling to get up. The driver failed to stop and neither driver has reported having had a collision with a Forest animal.

If anyone has any information that might identify the drivers involved in this accident, or noticed damage consistent with striking an animal, to an Audi or silver Mercedes type vehicle, we would be very pleased to hear from them. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. A reward of up to £1,000 is payable to anyone providing information which leads to the successful conviction of a driver who fails to report an accident involving Forest livestock. Anyone with any information is urged to contact either the Police on 101 quoting RMS number 44140336599.


Stolen miniature Shetland pony.

On Wednesday, 30th April, at just after 3 pm, two males were seen bundling a small Shetland pony into a maroon coloured Ford Transit type van, parked on the verge of the Lymington to Beaulieu Road, (B3054) between Bull Hill and Norley Wood Cross Roads. The pony is a small coloured mare – blue (light grey) and white. She is branded 90.

A reward of up to £1,000 (£300 from the owner, £350 from the Verderers and £350 from the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association) is being offered for information leading to the successful conviction of the thieves. Anyone with information should contact the Police on 101, quoting Incident Number 771 of the 30th April, or the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052. Calls will be treated in strict confidence.

Update, 12 May 2014

The Miniature Shetland pony which was seen being bundled into a van on Wednesday, 30th April, at just after 3 pm, has reappeared on the Forest close to Hatchet Pond, not far from where she was taken

It is assumed that the publicity surrounding the removal of the pony was sufficient to persuade the thieves to return her.  The fact that she is branded may well have also helped as she would be identifiable. It is worth pointing out that some ponies which run on the Forest are also microchipped.


Hit and Run Traffic Accident, at Longcross, B3078.

On Sunday, 16th February 2014, at approximately 6.45 p.m., Agister Andrew Napthine attended a Hit-and-Run incident involving a donkey at Longcross on the B3078, near Bramble Hill Car Park. The donkey, which was in foal, was struck and killed by a Land Rover Defender 90 or 110. The make and model of vehicle has been identified from debris found at the scene.There were no visible skid marks, but the blood, entrails and foetus found on the road indicates that the donkey was hit extremely hard and carried for approximately 46 metres from the point of impact, to where she came to rest. It is to be hoped the animal was killed instantly.

The donkey belonged to a 14 year old boy who is understandably upset that someone has killed his donkey and has failed to report the accident. If anyone has any information that might identify the driver involved in this incident, or notices a Land Rover Defender with frontal damage consistent with striking an animal, we would be very pleased to hear from you. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

A reward of up to £1,000 is payable for information which leads to the successful conviction of the driver involved in this incident. Anyone with any information is requested to contact the Police on 101 quoting Incident Number 1193, or Sue Westwood, the Clerk to the Verderers on 023 8028 2052, or email enquiries@verderers.org.uk.


NEW FOREST ACTS 1949 – 1970. Notice of Publication of draft Electoral Register for revision as at Friday 1st October 2012.

The Verderers of the New Forest, pursuant to the provisions of the First Schedule to the New Forest Act 1949 hereby give notice of their intention to revise as at 1st October 2012 the Electoral Register of persons qualified to be electors at elections of Elective Verderers under that Act.

Copies of the draft Electoral Register may be inspected and extracts therefrom may be taken from Monday 1st October 2012 until Monday 8th October 2012 both dates inclusive during usual office hours at the following offices:

Objections to any entry or omission in the draft Register must be made in writing to the High Sheriff of Hampshire, c/o J I Kennedy BA (Hons), New Kings Court, Tollgate, Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh, Hampshire SO53 3LG to reach him not later than 5 pm on Monday 8th October 2012.

Notice of any objection must be accompanied by a plan based on the Ordnance Survey map showing the location of the property in relation to a well known landmark in respect of which the objection is made and stating its area.

Objectors claiming to be included in the Register must also supply a certificate that they are in occupation of the property stating whether they are in sole or joint occupation and if the latter the names and addresses of the joint occupiers.

Any objections received after 5 pm on the 8th October 2012 or which do not comply with the foregoing requirements will be disallowed. The Revising Authority will sit at the Verderers’ Hall, The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst on 15th or 16th October 2012 at 10.30 am to hear and determine objections when all objectors should attend.


ELECTION OF VERDERERS Friday 30th November 2012 - Last chance to register to vote.

The electoral register for this year’s Verderers’ Election is currently being revised. However, time is running out! We must receive completed registration forms by 7th September 2012. Registration Forms for this year’s Election have been sent out to everyone who was eligible to vote in 2009 and whose name was on the 2009 Register. If you have recently received a form, and you still qualify for inclusion on the Register, and you wish to be included in the 2012 Register, you must return your form now.

Many people who live in and around the Forest occupy land that benefits from common rights and which, therefore, entitles them to vote. If you occupy land (which may or may not include a house or other building) that extends to at least one acre, you are entitled to vote at the Election that will take place on Friday, 30th November. In the case of joint occupancy, each person is required to occupy a minimum of one acre. Voting is carried out in the same way as any other election with polling stations at convenient locations around the Forest.

In order to be able to vote this year a registration form must be completed. Copies of the form are available on request from the Verderers’ Office or can be downloaded in Word or as a PDF. Completed forms must be returned to the Verderers’ Office or, if you have received a form from the Electoral Reform Service with a business reply envelope, please use that envelope. Please note that postal votes cannot be accepted. Anyone who is uncertain as to their entitlement to vote may contact the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052 to request a search of the Forest Atlas of Rights. For the purposes of registering for the Election searches will be carried out free of charge.

Why is it important to vote? - The Verderers protect the open land of the New Forest against development and misuse. They also regulate the exercise of common rights, ensuring a high standard of animal welfare and they look after the interests of those who farm in the Forest. Registering and exercising a right to vote is therefore important for anyone interested in the Forest and its future. The register is small (at present a just under 1000 names) so every vote carries considerable weight. This is your chance to make a real contribution to the Forest’s future.


Released: 15 August 2012

HIT AND RUN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENT AT STOCKLEY COTTAGE, B3055 between Brockenhurst and Beaulieu .

On Sunday 12th August 2012 at approximately 9.40 p.m. a vehicle, believed to be a dark coloured Citroen Saxo, collided with a cow outside Stockley Cottage on the B3055. The driver stopped, got out of his vehicle and spoke to a passing motorist and his passenger. The driver then got back into his car and drove off. He has not reported the accident. The Agister was called to the scene. The cow, an in-calf black Angus, was found to have some serious lacerations and a broken front leg and as a result had to be humanely destroyed.

Headlight glass and the driver’s side wing mirror were recovered from the scene and investigations confirm that the wing mirror is off a Citroen Saxo. The driver has been described by the witnesses as being of medium height and build with short dark hair, approximately 25 years of age. He may be Polish.

If anyone has any information that might identify the driver involved in this accident we would be very pleased to hear from them. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. A reward of up to £1,000 is payable to anyone providing information which leads to the successful conviction of a driver who fails to report an accident involving Forest livestock. Anyone with any information is requested to contact the Police on 101 quoting incident number 1285.

Anyone with any information is requested to contact Sue Westwood, the Clerk to the Verderers on 023 8028 2052, email enquiries@verderers.org.uk.


Released: 20 February 2012

Hot Branding and Microchip Implantation.

The response of the Verderers to the Independent Report into Hot Branding and Microchip Implantation of Equines written by Dr M Kennedy (funded by the RSPCA) is available here.


Press Release: 14 Oct 2011

HIT AND RUN ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS AT STOCKS CROSS, BRAMSHAW.

On Thursday 29th September at 11.30 a.m. a pig was found injured at Stocks Cross, Bramshaw. It was later humanely destroyed by the Agister. A passer-by says he drove past the pig which was standing in the road round a corner. As he rounded the corner he encountered a 4x4 travelling in the opposite direction. The informant says he flashed his lights to warn the driver as the vehicle was travelling quite fast. The actual collision was not witnessed and so it is possible that the vehicle, a dark purple Honda CRV with a V plate, was not the one that hit the pig. However, whether or not this vehicle was involved, we would like to speak to the driver.

On Friday 30th September at 8.20 p.m. two sheep were hit by a vehicle close to the site of the accident involving the pig the day before. Due to their injuries, both sheep had to be humanely destroyed by the Agister. A ‘Ford’ badge was picked up at the scene.

If anyone has any information that might identify the drivers involved in either of these accidents we would be very pleased to hear from them. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, however, a reward of up to £1,000 is payable to anyone providing information which leads to the successful conviction of a driver who fails to report an accident involving Forest livestock.

Anyone with any information is requested to contact Sue Westwood, the Clerk to the Verderers on 023 8028 2052, email enquiries@verderers.org.uk.


Press Release: 19 Sep 2011

Three Hit and Run Road Traffic Accidents in Just Over One Week, Two Involving the Same Foal.

At just after midnight on Wednesday, 7th September, a dark bay filly foal was hit by a car believed to be an Audi A5 or AS. The driver failed to stop or report the accident. On that occasion the foal was only slightly injured and so was left out with her mother. The Agister and owner felt that to try to catch her might aggravate any injury that was not immediately apparent.

A week later, on Wednesday 14th September at between 8.30 p.m. and 9.00 p.m. the Agister was called to another accident. Upon his arrival, he realised it involved the same foal. This time she was dead. We think this accident involved a Ford Transit. The driver again failed to stop or report the accident.

On Friday 16th September at approximately 9.00 p.m. a report was received that a dark bay foal had been hit by a vehicle whose driver also failed to report the accident. In this case, to date nothing injured has been found. We think a red Land Rover may have been the vehicle involved in this accident. All three of these accidents occurred on the B3078 between Deadman’s Corner and Black Gutter.

Accidents happen but, as we have said so many times before, there is no excuse for failing to report a collision with a Forest animal. If anyone has any information that might identify the drivers involved in these accidents we would be very pleased to hear from them. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, however, a reward of up to £1,000 is payable to anyone providing information which leads to the successful conviction of a driver who fails to report an accident involving Forest livestock

Anyone with any information is requested to contact Sue Westwood, the Clerk to the Verderers on 023 8028 2052, email enquiries@verderers.org.uk.


Press Release: 10 Aug 2011

New Forest Pannage Season 2011 - Commencing 10 Sep 2011.

A heavy acorn crop is expected this year, and therefore the Forestry Commission and Verderers have agreed that the pannage season will commence on Saturday 10th September, with the minimum duration being 60 days.

Pannage is the practice of turning out domestic pigs in a wood or forest in order that they may feed on fallen acorns, beech mast, chestnuts or other nuts. Historically, it was a right or privilege granted to local people on common land and it is still an important part of the New Forest’s ecology. It helps the husbandry of the other New Forest livestock – pigs can safely eat acorns as a large part of their diet, whereas excessive amounts are poisonous to ponies and cattle.

Owners of property abutting the Forest are reminded that it is their responsibility to fence out Forest animals from their land. Fences that keep ponies and cattle out will not necessarily be adequate to stop pigs.

Commoners who wish to exercise their right of pannage are reminded that they must arrange for their Agister to inspect, mark and ring their pigs at least 14 days before they turn them out. This means that anyone wishing to turn their pigs out on the first day of the pannage season must have had them marked by 27th August.

For further information regarding the pannage season, please contact the Verderers’ office at The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7NH or telephone 02380 282052.


Press Release: 14 Jun 2011

Follow-on Appeal; Hit and Run Road Traffic Accident

This is a follow-on appeal regarding one of the four Hit and Run road traffic accidents which occurred in May, involving Forest ponies.

Subsequent to the Hit and Run accident on the night of the 23rd / 24th May at Applemore, when a pony was found in the morning with a broken leg and was humanely destroyed by the Agister, a witness reported seeing a Spearmint green Ford Focus Mk 1 with a large dent in the bonnet parked by the side of the road not far from the scene of the accident.

We would be very grateful if the driver of the vehicle would come forward as he or she may be able to help the Police with their enquiries, and of course if anyone else has information concerning this vehicle or the accident, we would be very pleased to hear from them as well.

Remember, a REWARD of up to £1,000 may be paid for information leading to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for a hit and run accident with a Forest pony, cow, donkey, pig or sheep.


Press Release: 26 May 2011

Fourth Hit and Run Road Traffic Accident in a Fortnight Involving Forest Ponies

A fourth pony has been found with a broken leg, attributed to a collision with a vehicle. This time it was on the Exbury Road at Blackfield Common. A bay mare with a broken leg was found by Agister Mike Lovell last night at about 8.00 p.m. following a report from a member of the public who found the pony. However, it is believed the accident may have happened some time on Tuesday night.

Once again, if anyone has any information that might identify the driver involved in this accident we would be very pleased to hear from them. Please telephone the Police on 08450 454545 or Sue Westwood, the Clerk to the Verderers on 023 8028 2052. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

A REWARD of up to £1,000 may be paid for information leading to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for a hit and run accident with a Forest pony, cow, donkey, pig or sheep.


Press Release: 25 May 2011

Three Hit and Run Accidents Involving Forest Stock

In the past two weeks, there have been three hit and run accidents in which Forest animals were killed or injured so badly that they had to be humanely destroyed by the Agisters.

In the first accident, on Sunday 15th May, the Head Agister, Jonathan Gerrelli was called out at 1.00 a.m. He found a brown filly foal dead at Hilltop, Beaulieu. Vehicle parts found at the scene indicate that it was a Subaru Legacy that killed the foal. The second accident occurred sometime on the night of Monday 23rd/Tuesday 24th May. The Agister for the area, Mike Lovell, received a report on Tuesday morning to say there was an injured pony at Applemore, just past the cattle grid on the road leading off the roundabout on the A326. The pony was a roan filly; she had a broken hind leg and she was also humanely destroyed. Finally, on the evening of Tuesday, 24th May shortly before 10.00 p.m. a gentleman rang the police to report an injured pony that he had found close to Lovely Hill which is on the Ferny Crofts side of the B3056 near Pig Bush. This is the road between Lyndhurst and Beaulieu. The pony was a brown mare and she had a smashed front leg; she was humanely destroyed by Agister Mike Lovell. The two ponies left with broken legs would have suffered severe pain and would have been in considerable distress. We do not know how quickly the foal died following the collision.

If anyone has any information that might identify the drivers involved in these accidents we would be very pleased to hear from them. All information given will be treated in the strictest confidence. Please either telephone WPC Alison Tilbury at Hythe Police Station on 08450 454545 or Sue Westwood, the Clerk to the Verderers on 023 8028 2052.


Press Release: 17 March 2011

FC Estate Panel of Experts

This morning the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Mrs Caroline Spelman, announced the membership of the panel of independent experts who will advice her in the autumn on future forestry policy in England.

The panel is to be chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool, and will have eleven other members.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "No one could possibly question the array of knowledge and experience that the panel will have when it deliberates on the future of England’s publicly owned forests as a whole, but we are very disappointed that there is no sign of any of the members of the panel having personal knowledge of the New Forest."

"Since one of the key questions that the panel is being asked to answer is who should own the New Forest in the future, we are worried by that significant gap in the panel’s expertise."

"Mrs Spelman has made it plain in her instructions to the panel that it should gather evidence fully. We intend to ensure that our views are very clearly heard so that the New Forest remains in public ownership, with full and proper government funding guaranteed."


Press Release: 18th February 2011

Forestry Commission Public Forest Estate - Public Consultation Abandonment

The Verderers have issued the following statement subsequent to the Government's abandonment of public consultation.

Download the statement on the abandonment.


Announcement: 17th February 2011

Forestry Commission Public Forest Estate - Public Consultation

The Official Verderer has issued the following statement subsequent to the Court meeting on 16 February 2011.

Download the statement on the public consultation.


Press Release: Monday 8th December 2010

Welfare tour of the Forest - 7 December 2010

Our autumn/early winter welfare tour took place today and was attended by local and national animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, The British Horse Society, World Horse Welfare, The Horse Trust and The Blue Cross, as well as veterinary officers from the government’s Animal Health Agency. Despite the cold weather, a reasonable number of animals were inspected in both the north and the south of the Forest.

Everyone on the tour expressed their satisfaction with the condition of the animals they saw. The Blue Cross said the condition of the ponies is good and they have no concerns. The British Horse Society added that all stock look steadfast going into winter. The World Horse Welfare representative said the ponies look exceptionally well and the RSPCA and Animal Health Agency representatives were in agreement with all of the above comments and commended our Agister team on their excellent work in managing the stock.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "The animals on the Forest look ready for the winter, which has now begun in earnest, and we expect that the hardiness of the breeds will carry them through. As ever our Agisters will be monitoring the entire herd over the coming months to ensure that our welfare standards are maintained."


Press Release: Monday 25th October 2010

Forestry Commission sale of land

Yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph published a front page report with the headline “For sale: Britain’s forests”, stating that the Government will shortly announce that the Forestry Commission will be required to “dispose” of up to half of its 1.85 million acres of land by 2020. This news follows the earlier announcement by the Government that the Forestry Commission is to be retained and substantially reformed. The Daily Telegraph’s report also revealed that about one third of the land to be disposed of would be transferred to “other ownership” between 2011 and 2015.

Since the vast majority of the land within the New Forest’s perambulation is Crown Land, managed directly by the Forestry Commission, the Verderers are naturally concerned by this news, and will await the Secretary of State’s formal announcement for confirmation of what exactly is planned for the Forestry Commission.

The Verderers totally understand the economic necessity for nation-wide cuts and that the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which controls and funds the Forestry Commission, has not been spared, indeed it has been asked to make the greatest savings of all at some 29% over the next four years.

The Verderers are nevertheless greatly encouraged by last week’s statement by the Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman, that the Government intends to be the “greenest in history”, re-stating its commitment to enhancing biodiversity and the environment, both of which were singled out as being top priorities.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "The New Forest is totally different from the vast majority of the rest of the Forestry Commission’s land holdings. It is not like a block of commercial woodland that can be simply sold off. This area is not only of enormous environmental importance, it has also been accessible to the people for their use and enjoyment for hundreds of years. That is how the very special traditions of common rights evolved".

"We have a complex balance here which allows recreation, common rights and conservation to successfully co-exist, and if the management and upkeep of the Forest’s 65,500 acres was to be taken away from the Forestry Commission, I am very worried that the system will be seriously de-stabilised. The New Forest needs and deserves specialist management that is free from the commercial demands and pressures that privatisation would bring".

"The New Forest is a national treasure, and I am confident that the Government, particularly because of its clearly stated top commitment to conservation, will quickly recognise that the Open Forest is best managed directly by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the nation".


Press Release: Wednesday 8th September 2010

Pannage season - September 2010

Due to a heavy acorn crop this year, the pannage season will begin slightly earlier than planned and will commence on Saturday 11th September, with the minimum duration being 60 days.

Pannage is the practice of turning out domestic pigs in a wood or forest in order that they may feed on fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts or other nuts. Historically, it was a right or privilege granted to local people on common land and it is still an important part of the forest ecology, and helps the husbandry of the other New Forest livestock – pigs can safely eat acorns as a large part of their diet, whereas excessive amounts are poisonous to ponies and cattle.

For further information regarding the pannage season, please contact the Verderers’ office at The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7NH or telephone 02380 282052.


Press Release: Monday 17th May 2010

Welfare tour of the Forest - 13 May 2010

Our spring welfare tour took place last Thursday and was attended by local and national animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA, The British Horse Society, World Horse Welfare, The Horse Trust and The Blue Cross, as well as veterinary officers from the government’s Animal Health Agency. Over 500 animals were inspected in both the north and the south of the Forest.

Despite the very harsh conditions during the winter, and the prolonged cold and dry spring, all the representatives of the welfare organisations expressed their collective general satisfaction with the condition of the animals.

In addition they were satisfied that the system of removing animals from the Forest when their condition deteriorates generally works well, and their particular thanks were expressed to the Agisters for their hard work over the winter months.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "Obviously the last six months have been hard for the ponies, but they have come through, thanks in no small part to the vigilance of our Agisters. This winter has shown that our system works, but we will remain ever vigilant; there is no room for complacency when you are monitoring animal welfare".


Press Release: 16th February 2010

Hit & Run Accident - 25 Jan 10.

On Monday 25th January 2010 at approximately 9.30 p.m. a pony was hit and badly injured approximately midway between Hill Top and Ipers Bridge. The pony’s injuries were so severe that he had to be humanely destroyed by the agister.

There were several witnesses some of whom stopped at the scene. The driver of the vehicle which hit the animal drove off and failed to report the accident.

The vehicle involved in the accident is a metallic quartz grey Audi A6. From the wing mirror of the vehicle found at the scene it has been established that it was registered some time after the 30th September 2008 and would therefore have either a 58, 09 or 59 registration number. The vehicle would have been damaged in the accident and we are requesting anyone with information, particularly local garages, to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or the Police, WPC Tilbury, on 0845 045 4545 quoting the reference 44100032676, or the Verderers' Office on 023 8028 2052.

There is a reward of up to £1,000 payable to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for failing to report an accident with a commoners' animal. Several payments have been made under the scheme and the rules are available on request from the Verderers' Office.


Press Release: Wednesday 20th January 2010

Dumped Horse.

On Monday 11th January, the Agister for the Ocknell area of the Forest found a dead horse. The animal, a tri-coloured cob filly of approximately 3 years old, was in appalling condition. She was emaciated, had clearly been scouring badly (suffering from diarrhoea) and may have been ill for some time. There was blood around the head and she may have died at the scene.

Dumped horse
Horse dumped in the Forest

Dumping any animal in the Forest, whether dead or alive, is an offence, punishable through the Magistrates’ Court and the Verderers and the Police will make every effort to find and prosecute those responsible.

The police are investigating this offence and are appealing for information. Tyre marks left in the snow, indicate that the vehicle used to transport the animal had double wheels on the rear axle.

In view of the animal’s dreadful condition the Verderers have decided to offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information that leads to the successful conviction of the person(s) responsible for dumping this animal.

If anyone can provide any information, please contact either WPC Tilbury on 08450 454545 quoting reference number 44100014825 or Sue Westwood on 023 8028 2052.


Press Release: Wednesday 14th December 2009

Animal Welfare Charities Praise Condition of Forest Ponies - 9 Dec 09.

The recent Verderers’ Winter Welfare Tour, was attended by representatives of the RSPCA, the British Horse Society, The Horse Trust, World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH), the Donkey Sanctuary, the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association and the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, as well as the Regional Field Manager from the Government’s new Animal Health Agency (formally the DEFRA State Veterinary Service).

The Verderers’ Welfare Tours take place every spring and winter, and give an important twice-yearly opportunity for the national and local welfare organisations to see the condition of the stock for themselves. The tour covered a wide area of the Forest and 444 ponies were inspected, as well as 17 donkeys and several cattle.

All representatives present remarked how surprised they were to see the good condition of all the animals seen, particularly in view of the wet and windy weather we have recently experienced, as well as the first of the winter frosts. Once again the agisters were praised for the excellent job they have done in removing ponies which have fallen below the Verderers’ standard.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, said: “Despite the tough conditions out on the Forest recently the animals have fared reasonably well, and there have been no welfare problems as yet, thanks in no small part to the diligence of our team of Agisters. The one thing that the ponies and donkeys in particular find hard is a combination of wind and heavy rain, both of which have been in ample supply of late! The key to success out on the open Forest is to be pro-active, and the owners of the animals and the Agisters will be carefully monitoring the condition of the animals over the remainder of the winter, and any which fall below the Verderers’ standards will be taken off the Forest” ”.

At a meeting held in the Verderers’ Hall after the tour those present were keen to learn if the Verderers’ stallion scheme was going to continue in the future. This scheme, which has been running for nine years, is strongly supported by all of the organizations represented. It restricts the number of stallions allowed out and the amount of time they can run on the Forest each year. This summer, for instance, only twenty stallions were allowed on the Forest for the month of June. The purpose of the scheme, which is reviewed annually, is to reduce the number of foals born each year and improve their quality through selection of only the best stallions being released on the Forest in selected areas.


Press Release: Tuesday 27th October 2009

Verderers' Recreational Consents - Verderers’ Court 21 Oct 09.


Burley Cricket and Football Club Pavilion

In September, Burley Cricket and Football Club applied for consent to enlarge its pavilion which is situated on Open Forest just outside the village.

The application was for a significant extension of 46 sq. metres which would have resulted in a pavilion considerably larger than any other similar structure on the Open Forest. This, the Verderers were not minded to grant, as under their Policies they do not normally permit new recreational facilities on the Open Forest. In addition, several Presentments were received expressing concern at the proposals, and the Commoners Defence Association (which represents the vast majority of practising commoners ) specifically asked the Court to refuse consent if any development meant losing 46 sq. metres of grazing.

However, following a meeting with the Chairman of the Cricket and Football Club, the Court was asked to grant consent for a revised and more modest extension.

This smaller extension (6 square metres) will permit the Club to revise the interior layout of the Pavilion in order to upgrade the facilities to the standard required by modern village cricket and football clubs, whilst also providing a new equipment store. It was felt the latter would be of benefit to the Forest as well as the Club as equipment which has previously been left on the Open Forest can now be securely housed in a purpose built store.

The size of the extended pavilion will be in line with other similar double purpose pavilions on the Open Forest. The Court therefore, decided to accept the revised application and grant consent with the proviso that no future consents will be granted for any further enlargement of the pavilion.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, said: “Our policy is to prevent the loss of precious grazing on the open Forest, but since the Club has significantly scaled back its plans, which will make its clubhouse no bigger than any of the others, we have decided to take a sympathetic approach to this revised application and support it”.

Bramshaw Golf Club

The licence for Bramshaw Golf Club’s Forest course expires in December this year and the Forestry Commission sought the Verderers’ consent to grant a new 25 year lease .

In considering the application, the Court was mindful of the Presentment it received in Open Court as well as a report from “The Friends of Brook Common” in which concern was expressed regarding certain aspects of the Golf Club’s operation and it’s effect on the Open Forest. The Court shared those concerns and as a result decided that a licence of 10 years duration, rather than 25 years, should be granted. This consent being subject to prior approval of the Management Plan which the Club is required to submit


Press Release: Friday 16th October 2009

Two Hit & Run Accidents in One Day.

Two hit and run accidents occurred early on Thursday morning 15th October 2009.

The first incident was at approximately 6.30 a.m. on the Thorney Hill to Burley road at the railway bridge at Burbush. A witness out walking his dog saw a pony hit by an estate car with distinctive headlights and reported it to the police.

The pony, a rose grey yearling filly, suffered a broken right front leg and was humanely destroyed by the attending agister.

The second incident occurred at 8.20 a.m. between the two railway bridges at Setley on the C10 from the A337 south of Brockenhurst to the Marlpit Oak cross road. Several witnesses saw a dark coloured convertible, believed to be an old style Mercedes, hit a bay pony wearing a reflective collar. The pony suffered a broken leg and was humanely destroyed by the attending agister.

At the time of going to press neither of the above drivers had reported the accidents.

If anyone has any further information regarding these incidents would they kindly contact the Verderers' Office on 023 8028 2052, or the Police on 0845 045 4545. The incident reference numbers are 44090448286 (Burbush) and 44090450164 (Setley).

There is a reward of up to £1,000 payable to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for failing to report an accident with a commoners' animal. Several payments have been made under the scheme and the rules are available on request from the Verderers' Office.


Wednesday 23rd September 2009

New Forest Verderers - Amended Byelaws.

In accordance with the provisions of the New Forest Acts, the Verderers of the New Forest adopted their amended byelaws on Wednesday 16th September 2009. Copies are available for inspection during normal working hours at the Verderers’ Office or they may be viewed on their website www.verderers.org.uk. [link below].

Written representations relating to the amended byelaws should be sent to the Clerk to the Verderers at The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, SO43 7NH by Monday 26th October 2009.

Notice of any objection must be accompanied by a plan based on the Ordnance Survey map showing the location of the property in relation to a well known landmark in respect of which the objection is made and stating its area.

The Verderers intend to apply for confirmation of their amended byelaws by the relevant Minister of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs no earlier than Monday 2nd November 2009.

The draft new Byelaws are available for downloadOpens in a new window.


Tuesday 22nd September 2009

Verderers' Election 2009 - New Forest Acts 1949 – 1970.


Notice of Publication of draft Electoral Register for revision as at Friday 2nd October 2009.

The Verderers of the New Forest, pursuant to the provisions of the First Schedule to the New Forest Act 1949 hereby give notice of their intention to revise as at 2nd October 2009 the Electoral Register of persons qualified to be electors at elections of Elective Verderers under that Act.

Copies of the draft Electoral Register may be inspected and extracts therefrom may be taken from Friday 2nd October 2009 until Friday 9th October 2009 both dates inclusive during usual office hours at the following offices:

Objections to any entry or omission in the draft Register must be made in writing to the High Sheriff of Hampshire, c/o J I Kennedy BA (Hons), 19 St Peter Street, Winchester, SO23 8BU to reach him not later than 5 pm on Friday 9th October 2009.

Notice of any objection must be accompanied by a plan based on the Ordnance Survey map showing the location of the property in relation to a well known landmark in respect of which the objection is made and stating its area.

Objectors claiming to be included in the Register must also supply a certificate that they are in occupation of the property stating whether they are in sole or joint occupation and if the latter the names and addresses of the joint occupiers.

Any objections received after 5 pm on the 9th October 2009 or which do not comply with the foregoing requirements will be disallowed. The Revising Authority will sit at the Verderers’ Hall, The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst on 13th or 14th October 2009 at 10.30 am to hear and determine objections when all objectors should attend.


Press Release: Wednesday 16th September 2009

Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.

The Court of Verderers resolved, in principle, to transfer their current Countryside Stewardship Scheme to a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS).

The Official Verderer said, “We have been discussing the future of our current scheme with DEFRA and Natural England. The existing agreement with DEFRA has a finite life span of ten years, and it is due to end in 2013."

"Therefore, because of the uncertainties that surround the future funding of any similar replacement, we have decided to look at ending the scheme early in order to sign up next year for a fresh ten year period rather than risk being told in 2013 that there is no more money. We have been very strongly advised by DEFRA that this is the best course of action, and Natural England has given us its unequivocal support in seeking to sign-up to a replacement scheme as early as January next year."

"The new scheme will have much wider scope for funding not just the existing payments to commoners as Open Forest graziers, but other land management projects throughout the Forest. The HLS scheme is very exciting news and it will be the biggest conservation and land management scheme in Europe."


Press Release: Wednesday 3rd September 2009

Hit & Run Accident - 24 Aug 09 - Lyndhurst to Beaulieu Road B3056 - Shatterford area.

On Monday 24th August 2009 at approximately 7.30 a.m. Agister Mike Lovell received a call from the Forestry Commission to say that a member of the public had reported a sick foal laying at the side of the road. When he attended, the foal appeared to have internal injuries and was near to death. It was humanely destroyed. Bits of metal and plastic were at the scene and it seems extremely likely that the foal was hit by a vehicle.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident would they kindly contact the Verderers' Office on 023 8028 2052, or the Police on 0845 045 4545. The incident reference number is 44090383726.

There is a reward of up to £1,000 payable to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for failing to report an accident with a commoners' animal. Several payments have been made under the scheme and the rules are available on request from the Verderers' Office.


Press Release: Draft Amended Byelaws (15th July 09)

Amended Byelaws.

In accordance with the provisions of the New Forest Acts, the Verderers of the New Forest adopted their amended byelaws on Wednesday 15th July 2009. Copies are available for inspection during normal working hours at the Verderers’ Office or they may be viewed on their website www.verderers.org.uk [available below].

Written representations relating to the amended byelaws should be sent to the Clerk to the Verderers at The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, SO43 7NH by Monday 17th August 2009.

The Verderers intend to apply for confirmation of their amended byelaws by the relevant Minister of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs no earlier than Monday 24th August 2009

Download draft amended byelaws - 15 Jul 09Opens in a new window.


Press Release: Wednesday 17th June 2009

Forest Holidays Retail van.

In view of their existing policies on camping and recreational facilities, the Verderers have today decided that they are regrettably unable to give their agreement to the provision of a mobile shop at three of the Forestry Commission’s campsites in the New Forest.

The decision has been taken in response to an earlier request for the Verderers’ agreement under the provisions of Section 1(2) of the New Forest Act of 1970.

Written reasons for the decision will be given in a letter to the Deputy Surveyor, Mr Michael Seddon, a copy of which will be available on the Verderers’ website. [Available below]

The Official Verderer said: “This has not been an easy decision to make because we do sympathise with the Forestry Commission’s wish to make these campsites viable, but our policy is very clear on these sorts of matters and we sadly cannot support further urbanisation of the Open Forest”.

Letter to Deputy Surveyor regarding the mobile retail vanOpens in a new window.


Press Release: Wednesday 10th June 2009

Three Hit and Run RTAs in One Week.

On Monday 1st June at approximately 16.08 hrs at Vereley on the C10 a report was received by the Police that a bay filly was standing in the road with its foot hanging off. Several other witnesses saw a vehicle hit the pony but the driver did not stop. The filly called Backley Celebration, had a badly broken leg which was consistent with her having been hit by a car. The Agister was called and the filly was humanely destroyed.

Hit and Run death
Backley Celebration and
Backley Moonshaw

Later on, the Head Agister saw the filly’s constant companion, Backley Moonshadow, lay down beside her now dead friend – something the Agisters have never seen before. When Celebration’s owner went to collect the carcass later in the evening, Moonshadow was still running around calling for her friend. It was distressing for all concerned.

The C10 between Picket Post and Burley Street is a bad road for accidents with Forest animals. Drivers coming off the A31 often fail to adjust their speed as they enter the Forest and there also appears to be a tendency for motorists who may have been held up in Burley, to try to make up time as they travel across the open Forest. The result is the C10, especially at Vereley, has been the location of some very distressing accidents.

The Forestry Commission does its best to keep roadside vegetation under control but it is impractical to swipe every road, every year. At Vereley there are steep banks on one stretch of the road and animals are often found grazing at the bottom of the bank with little chance of jumping out of the way – even assuming it occurs to them to do so.

Two further hit and run accidents occurred during the week. Fortunately in these cases the animals were not seriously injured.

Drivers need to remember that the Forest animals do not have any road sense. They become used to traffic passing by and they have no idea the vehicles may badly injure or kill them.

The animals feed alongside the road and may move onto the carriageway without warning. Motorists need to take much more care and at this time of year with the foals getting older and more playful and brave, even more care than normal is needed.

There is a reward of up to £1,000 payable to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful conviction of a driver responsible for failing to report an accident with a commoners’ animal. Several payments have been made under the scheme and the rules are available on request from the Verderers’ Office.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052, or the Police on 0845 045 4545. The incident reference number is 44090240490.


Press Release: Tuesday 2nd June 2009

Dog Attack on Ponies.

During mid afternoon on Thursday 28th May 2009, a brown Staffordshire Terrier type dog was seen chasing and attacking several ponies, one with a foal, in the vicinity of the Beaulieu Road Sale Yard off the B3056.

Pony injured by dog
Wound on the pony's head from
dog attack

At one point, the dog was seen hanging from the throat of one of the ponies.

The dog’s owners apparently did little to call the dog off until it was kicked by one of the ponies.

The dog apparently continued to chase the ponies in the direction of Decoy Pond Farm.

Attached is a photograph of the injury sustained by one of the ponies.

If anyone witnessed this incident or has any information that may help identify the owner of the dog, please contact the Police on 0845 045 4545 or the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052.


Press Release: Thursday 21st May 2009

New Forest Speed Limits.

On Wednesday, 20th May 2009, the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association called for the speed limit on the Forest’s unfenced roads to be reduced from 40 mph to 30 mph.

Nearly all the villages now have a 30 mph speed limit and in Committee after the Open Court, the Verderers considered the CDA’s Presentment and agreed unanimously to adopt the arguments for a 30 mph maximum speed limit across the whole Forest.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, said: “Having a universal speed limit of thirty miles an hour across the whole of the Forest makes very good sense. The Government's own statistics show that the ten mile per hour difference between 30 and 40 miles an hour hugely reduces the risk of accidents”.

“Another benefit would be the removal of the multitude of ugly and rather pointless new signs that have had to be erected all over the Forest because of the different speed limits in most of our villages, sometimes only yards apart! All of the Forest's organisations agree that we should reduce animal accidents and unnecessary signposts, and this excellent idea deals with both”.


Press Release: Wednesday 20th May 2009

Animal Welfare Charities Praise Condition of Forest Ponies - 15 May 09.

The Verderers’ Spring Welfare Tour held last Friday, was attended by representatives of the RSPCA, the British Horse Society, The Horse Trust, World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH), the Blue Cross, the Donkey Sanctuary, the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association and the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, as well as the Regional Operations Director from the Government’s new Animal Health Agency (formally the DEFRA State Veterinary Service).

The Verderers’ Welfare Tours take place every spring and winter, and give an important twice-yearly opportunity for the national and local welfare organisations to see the condition of the stock for themselves. The tour covered a wide area of the Forest and over 500 ponies and foals were inspected, as well as 21 donkeys and several cattle.

All representatives present remarked how surprised they were to see the good condition of all the animals seen, particularly in view of the cold, wet winter we have just experienced. Once again the agisters were praised for the brilliant job they have done in removing ponies which have fallen below the Verderers’ standard.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, said: “Despite the tough conditions out on the Forest over the winter the animals have fared well, and there have been no welfare problems, thanks in no small part to the very hard work of the Agisters”.


Announcement: Thursday 7th May 2009

Successful Prosecution of Hit and Run Driver.

A foal was found dead on the B3078 at 5.30 a.m. on the 5th June 2008. The foal appeared to have been dragged along the road by a vehicle.

Following a plea for information in the press, a gentleman came forward and provided information that led to the successful prosecution of Mr Timothy Baker from Lover, near Salisbury who had collided with the foal.

Mr Baker was prosecuted in the New Forest Magistrates Court in Lyndhurst and found guilty of driving without due care and attention. He was fined £900.00, ordered to pay £60.00 costs and £15.00 victim surcharge and had his licence endorsed with 6 points.

The Verderers will always encourage the police to pursue prosecutions where there is clear evidence that motorists responsible for accidents with Forest livestock were driving in an inappropriate manner, or, when drivers fail to report accidents to the police.


Announcement: Monday 20th April 2009

Forest Holidays Retail Van.

The Forestry Commission has made a formal submission to the Verderers in relation to its desire to operate a mobile shop that will visit all of its campsites in the Forest.

The Verderers regard this proposal as one that clearly requires their consent under the New Forest Acts, and they have thus invited the Forestry Commission to make a presentment of its own at the May Verderers’ Court giving full details of its plans.

The Verderers will then wait until the June Court to hear any presentments from the public, following which they will make a decision.

The Official Verderer said “There is still a lot of detail about this proposal that needs to be revealed and we hope the Forestry Commission will provide this at our May Court. We would like to hear the public’s views on the proposals and our June court provides that opportunity”.


Announcement: Wednesday 11th March 2009

Suspected Hit and Run RTAprobably on 9th March 2009 at Lord's Oak.

Suspected Hit and Run RTA, probably between 6.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. on Monday evening, the 9th March 2009 at Lords Oak on the B3079 (comes off the A36).

A young brown Jenny donkey was left in the middle of the road with two broken legs. She was found by a school teacher who contacted the Agister. By the time he arrived the donkey had died.

If anyone witnessed the accident or has any information that may help identify the driver, please contact the Police on 0845 045 4545 or the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052.

The Verderers’ Hit and Run Reward Scheme will pay up to £1,000 for information leading to the successful conviction of drivers who fail to report an accident with a Forest animal.


Announcement: Wednesday 17th February 2009

Suspected Hit and Run RTA, probably early morning, on Monday, 16th February 2009 at Wootton.

The accident occurred 200 yards from the Rising Sun on the road to Wootton Bridge and Brockenhurst.

A grey filly was left with a broken hind leg. She was found by a member of the public just before 9.00 a.m. and the accident was reported to the Agister who attended and humanely destroyed the pony.

If anyone witnessed the accident or has any information that may help identify the driver, they should please contact the Police on 0845 045 4545 or the Verderers’ Office on 023 8028 2052.

The Verderers’ Hit and Run Reward Scheme will pay up to £1,000 for information leading to the successful conviction of drivers who fail to report an accident with a Forest animal.


Announcement: Thursday 5th February 2009

Commoner’s Appeal Against Conviction Fails.

Background

Mr Colin Barnes of Penn Common, Bramshaw, was found guilty of breaching the Verderers Byelaws after a trial in the Southampton Magistrates Court on April 30th 2008.

Mr Barnes was charged with not marking his cattle in 2007 to the satisfaction of the Verderers (byelaw 14), and after hearing evidence the magistrates found the case proved. Mr Barnes was fined £100 and ordered to make a contribution of £2,000 towards the Verderers’ legal costs in bringing the prosecution. Mr Barnes appealed against his conviction and sentence, and on 2nd February his case was heard again in full at a four day hearing in the Southampton Crown Court before Mr Recorder Ben Compton sitting with two Justices of the Peace.

The Appeal was dismissed and the conviction and sentence were both upheld.

Campaign Against the byelaws

In giving his judgement on 5th February Mr Recorder Compton said that he was completely satisfied that the Verderers requirements under the byelaws were perfectly reasonable, and he rejected the multitude of complex legal arguments that Mr Barnes presented in his attempt to prove that the byelaws were invalid. The Judge stated that he was very concerned that Mr Barnes was being used as a vehicle for a legal campaign against the byelaws, and that he was out of his depth. He beseeched Mr Barnes to consider what he was doing and the potential damage to the New Forest in the long term if the campaign persists. He said that “ it is sad that a laudable institution like the Verderers is being dragged through the courts, and to achieve what? I’m not sure”.

In awarding the Verderers their full costs he told Mr Barnes that he wanted them to get their money back.

Byelaw 14

The Verderers require all cattle on the Forest to be freeze-branded or have an ear-tag displaying the owner’s brand. This is so that the animal can be easily identified by the Agisters, and the owner can be contacted in an emergency such as a road traffic accident or if the animal is appears unwell.

After the hearing the Official Verderer, Mr Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said:

“I agree with the Judge. This whole case has absorbed enormous amounts of time and money, and for what purpose? Mr Barnes, probably as a vehicle for some sort of misguided campaign, has wheeled out a plethora of obscure legal arguments in an attempt to have our byelaws declared invalid.”

“As a result this case has gone on for four whole days, not including the day it took up in the Magistrates Court last year. All of those arguments have been once again resoundingly rejected by the Court, and I just hope that whoever is behind this sees that it does not serve anybody’s interests to behave in this way. ”

“I am greatly relieved that as before we have been awarded all of our costs of £46,000, so at least the funds that we need to continue with our duties in the Forest will not be affected.”


Announcement: Monday 3th February 2009

Welfare Tour of the Forest: 9th December 2008.

Animal Welfare Charities Praise Conditon Of Forest Ponies

The Verderers’ winter Welfare Tour was held today, attended by representatives of the RSPCA, the British Horse Society, The Horse Trust, the Blue Cross, the Donkey Sanctuary, the New Forest Commoners’ Defence Association and the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, as well as a senior Veterinary Officer from the Government’s new Animal Health Agency (formally the DEFRA State Veterinary Service), Dr Malla Hovi.

The Verderers’ Welfare Tours take place every spring and winter, and give an important twice-yearly opportunity for the national and local welfare organisations to see the condition of the stock for themselves. The tour covered a wide area of the Forest and over 400 ponies were inspected, as well as numerous cattle and 23 donkeys.

Dr Hovi, who has taken a special interest in the semi-feral herds of the New Forest, commented after the tour that she found all the stock that she had seen to be in very impressive condition, especially after such a poor and damp summer. Her praise for the welfare of the ponies, cattle and donkeys was unanimously endorsed by all the other representatives.

Chief Inspector Robbie Roberts of the RSPCA went on to say that he felt he could sleep well at night, knowing that the Agisters and the owners of the stock on the Forest were working so well together caring for the animals.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite Eyre, said: “We are obviously very pleased that the country’s foremost animal charities have endorsed what we do as Verderers, and once again have specifically asked us to pass on a big thank you to our team of Agisters for their continuous vigilance and hard work out on the Forest 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.


Announcement: Friday 17th October 2008

Verderers' Responses to NPA's Draft Plans

The Verderers have issued their formal responses to the National Park Authority's draft Management Plan and to the Authority's draft Recreation Strategy:


Announcement: Tuesday 9th September 2008

HIT and RUN Accident Involving 2 Donkeys -   Succesfull Prosecution

Mr Colin Stroud of Hyde near Fordingbridge was successfully prosecuted by the police in the Southampton Magistrates Court on 27th August for a hit and run accident in January this year when he ran over 2 donkeys. Both donkeys were in-foal and died as a result of the accident.

Mr Stroud was charged with an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and for failing to report an accident. He was found guilty on both charges. On the first charge of ‘causing unneccessary suffering to an animal’ he was sentenced 28 days detention. On the second charge he was sentenced 14 days to be served concurrently. He was also disqualified from driving for 6 months.

The Verderers welcome this conviction which highlights the need for drivers to behave responsibly. Members of the public are reminded that if they see, or are involved in an accident in which Forest stock are injured, they should dial 999 and inform the police at the earliest opportunity, so that the animal can be dealt with quickly and humanely.


Announcement: Monday 10th June 2008

HIT and RUN 5th June 2008

Witnesses are sought following a Hit and Run road traffic accident in which a foal was killed having been hit and dragged along the road. The accident happened just after 5.30 a.m. on Thursday 5th June on the B3078 at Crows Nest (close to the B3078 junction with the road to Nomansland). The driver failed to stop and has not reported the accident.

Anyone who can assist with information is requested to telephone WPC Alison Tilbury on the usual police number 0845 045 4545, quoting 44 08 0244822.

A reward of upto £1,000 may be payable for information that leads to the conviction of a driver responsible for a hit and run RTA.

The Verderers are appealing for the gentleman who provided information on this incident to call and provide his name and telephone number.


Announcement: Wednesday 19th December 2007

Amended Byelaws

In accordance with the provisions of the New Forest Acts, the Verderers of the New Forest adopted their amended byelaws on Wednesday 19th December 2007. Copies are available for inspection during normal working hours at the Verderers’ office or are available for download nowOpens in a new window.

Written representations relating to the amended byelaws should be sent to the Clerk to the Verderers at The Queen’s House, Lyndhurst, SO43 7NH by Friday 1st February 2008.

The Verderers intend to apply for confirmation of their amended byelaws by the relevant Minister at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs no earlier than Friday 8th February 2008.

Postscript: The Official Verderer has announced in Open Court that: “As planned we have now sent the Minister our amended byelaws along with copies of all correspondence that we have received on the subject, and any presentments that have been made, since August 8th. We hope that they will be confirmed in due course.”


Press Release: Tuesday 29th May 2007

Welfare tour of the Forest

The Verderers' Spring Welfare Tour was held today, attended by representatives of the RSPCA, the British Horse Society, International League for the Protection of Horses, the Blue Cross, the Donkey Sanctuary, the New Forest Commoners' Defence Association and the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, as well as Veterinary officers from DEFRA.

The Verderers' Welfare Tours take place every spring and winter, and give an important twice-yearly opportunity for the national and local welfare organisations to see the condition of the stock for themselves. The tour covered a wide area of the Forest and over 500 ponies were inspected, as well as numerous cattle and 12 donkeys.

Overall the unanimous conclusion of the representatives was that the animals looked well and their condition was good all round, despite the very dry early spring which restricted the growth of the grass. Once again the work of the Agisters, who look after the welfare of the animals on the Forest, was specifically praised.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "It is the prime duty of our organisation to ensure the ongoing welfare of the animals on the Forest, and we are obviously pleased that yet again the country's foremost animal charities have endorsed our work and praised the condition of the stock on the Forest".


Press Release: Tuesday 9th January 2007

Successful prosecution - non-payment Marking Fees

At the Southampton Magistrates Court on Friday 5th January 2007 Mr Malcolm Horsbrough was successfully prosecuted by the Verderers for non-payment of his annual marking fees due under the Verderers' byelaws. Mr Horsbrough was fined £200, which is the maximum fine allowable for this particular offence, and he was ordered to pay £500 towards the Verderers' legal costs.

The Verderers brought this prosecution in pursuit of their long-standing policy of enforcing their byelaws where necessary.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "It is unfortunate that once again we have had to resort to the Magistrates Courts in order to collect marking fees that are lawfully due, however it is only right and proper that we should pursue those who persistently refuse to pay".


Press Release: Monday 24th January 2005

Hollands Wood and Roundhill campsites

The Deputy Surveyor made a Presentment to the Verderers on November 17th requesting their consent under Section 23(2) of the Countryside Act 1968, and Section 1 of the New Forest Act 1970 to the development of new and some additional facilities at the Hollands Wood and Roundhill campsites. At the monthly court held on January 19th 2005 in the Verderers Hall in Lyndhurst twelve Presentments were made, of which nine were made in objection to the Forestry Commission's proposals. The matter was subsequently considered in Committee.

The Verderers policy in respect of recreation and development is:
"To support recreational use or development that does not conflict with the ecological or other scientific qualities of the Forest, or its natural beauty and traditional character, including its peacefulness, unique cultural heritage and agricultural/Commoning practises". They also have a policy to support the Declaration of Intent which was signed by the Forestry Commission, English Nature and the Verderers in 1995 and which states that all three signatories recognise that "the prime objective of Forest management shall be the conservation of the traditional character of the New Forest." The declaration also recognised the Verderers' responsibility for "protecting the Forest against intrusive development and conserving its aesthetic qualities, flora and fauna".

After considering the Forestry Commission's Presentment with great care, and having taken into account the presentments made in writing and in the open session of the Court by the public, the Verderers have decided to withhold their consent on the basis that these proposals are contrary to their policy on recreation and development.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "We have always been in favour of camping in the New Forest, and we still are, which is why this has been such a difficult decision to take. The Forest is one of the most heavily protected conservation areas in the world, and quite rightly so. We have had to bear this very much in mind when considering the Forestry Commission's request for consent to significantly modernise and upgrade the facilities at both these campsites. The decision presented us with a classic conflict between recreation and conservation. We firmly believe that whenever possible the Forest's unique landscape must be protected from creeping urbanisation, and as Verderers we felt we had no option but to put the Forest first".

The rationale for the refusal of consentOpens in a new window, and the statement on signing the Appropriate AssessmentOpens in a new window are available for download.


Press Release: Friday 22nd July 2005

Convictions for breach of Verderers' Byelaws

The trial of various commoners for breach of the Verderers' bye-laws concluded today in the Southampton Magistrates' Court, with District Judge Gillibrand giving his decision as follows:

Mr Bessant and Mr Barnes were not present in Court, and were thus not sentenced in their absence. Their sentencing will take place on August 22nd at 10.00 a.m. in the Southampton Magistrates Courts before District Judge Gillibrand. Andrew Young was given a Conditional Discharge for twelve months, and he was ordered to pay £100 towards the Verderers' costs. He was also ordered to pay £75 compensation in respect of the unpaid Marking Fees. Peter Burgess was given a Conditional Discharge for twelve months, and he was ordered to pay £100 towards the Verderers' costs. He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation in respect of the unpaid Marking Fees. Both defendants were ordered to pay within twenty-eight days.

The Official Verderer, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: "We are pleased we have shown that the Verderers' bye-laws are enforceable throughout the whole of the New Forest, and we will enforce them where necessary. We were particularly pleased to hear the Judge's praise for the valuable service that the Verderers provide for the New Forest's commoners and their stock, and that he found our team of Agisters, in giving their evidence, to be a most impressive and professional group of people. Now that the trial is over we wholeheartedly support the Judge's opinion that we should all now put this matter behind us, and move on".


Archive


Press releases from March 2003 to March 2005 are available for downloadOpens in a new window.

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