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MAIN car parks in the New Forest close

MAIN car parks in the New Forest close

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 1:53pm 23rd March 2020.

2 minute read

Access to the popular National Park is changing in light of Covid-19 outbreak.

Forestry England ( formerly the Forestry Commission ) says the move has been taken in response to the large numbers of people visiting public outdoor spaces and the fact "it has not always being able to achieve social distancing."

The car parks affected from today (March 23rd) are:

  • Bolderwood, 
  • Wilverley, 
  • Blackwater, 
  • Whitefield Moor, 
  • Anderwood, 
  • Hatchet Pond
  • New Forest Reptile Centre.  

All public facilities within the New Forest are already closed including public toilets, visitor cabins, and BBQ facilities. 

Campsites are also closed and there's a reminder that wild camping is illegal anywhere on the New Forest or in its car parks.

WHAT ABOUT SMALLER CAR PARKS?

Smaller car parks like Ashley Walk, Deadman Hill. Godshill Cricket, Telegraph Hill and Turf Hill remain open for now. 

Forestry England say closing smaller car parks could be problematic

"We have taken the decision not to close these for several reasons. We are concerned that closures would lead to large amounts of parking on verges and open ground causing real and irreversible damage to the landscape. Parking at locations away from the network of tracks would also lead to large numbers of people walking across the open forest putting wildlife at huge risk, particularly as it’s the start of the ground nesting bird season in these areas."

New Forest car parks collage - Pipers Wait - Telegraph Hill - Godshill Cricket - Deadman Hill (Mike Draper)
Open for now but the situation could change.

WARNING SITUATION COULD CHANGE:

Locals are being told they will have access to the countryside but Forestry England say it's vital everyone follows government guidance to avoid all non-essential travel and social distancing to help restrict the spread of coronavirus.

"We will keep the situation under constant review and may close all car parks with immediate effect if the government’s guidelines on social distancing are not being adhered to or if the advice from Public Health England changes. "

 

 

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