We had very interesting BPC meeting this month on 17 June. Steve Avery from the New Forest National Park Authority attended and presented the NPA’s draft New Forest National Park Partnership Plan 2021 – 2026. The NPA is just commencing a consultation period on this plan, which sets out its Vision and Objectives to help shape how we work together for “this unique and special landscape” of the New Forest and to support the communities that sustain it in the coming years. There are 5 key themes which are highly relevant to our own priorities here in Beaulieu, including:
- Having a living, working Forest that is sustained through support for commoning, local produce, sustainable tourism, access to affordable homes and helping to attract high-value businesses and employees
- Ensuring habitats are restored, expanded and maintained to enable wildlife to thrive
- Achieving significant cuts in land-based carbon emissions, secured through restoring natural habitats and carbon capture
A high priority for the BPC is to support our community in successfully finding our way out from the pandemic. Thank you to all of you who recently put suggestions forward where we in Beaulieu may be able to make applications for grants to help in this. We will work to see what can be achieved and to help us understand the opportunities here we had two great presentations on Thursday.
Firstly, we heard from Abbey Wright who is looking for funding to continue her amazing open air Shakespeare productions in Beaulieu, including a programme of community workshops to be provided by world-class actors. We then heard from Jane Cooper from the CET who is looking for funding for a major project to develop a “Country Skills Cascade” that is aimed at equipping young people with skills to physically engage with the countryside. She is also looking to establish two village walks a year which in her words will be “wonderful for mental health, for creating social connections and for improving physical health”.
These are inspirational and ambitious programmes. Available public funding is of course tight, and the BPC will provide any advice and support we can to help them achieve these important programmes.
Many of you have recently raised with me the issue of traffic going through the village, and the impact this is having on our society. It was good to hear Mark Grindrod report that there was a substantial police presence earlier this month that successfully captured many dozens of speeding motorists entering the village from Hilltop, and hopefully this police presence will continue in helping to educate motorists.
The safety issues we are facing with articulated lorries, particularly attempting to go down the High Street, is a major concern. Thank you to those parishioners who have helped sort out what have become some very precarious situations. There is no easy or immediate answer to this problem which has existed for some time, but it is something that the BPC remains carefully focused on to see what can be achieved.
We reviewed our governance arrangements at our council meeting and also approved the BPC’s financial accounts at our meeting, all of which is disclosed on our website.
So, it has been a busy month and many thanks to all of you who have contacted me to talk about the opportunities you see and also your concerns. I’m much looking forward to continuing those discussions.