A £4.5m landscape scheme for the New Forest will undertake a range of projects to restore lost habitats and develop forest skills and inspire a new generation to champion and care for the forest.
Parish Councils with their local knowledge are being consulted and asked to get involved. There are several proposed projects such as working woodlands which aims to bring some 40% of unmanaged privately owned woodland into sustainable management.
Better Boundaries seeks to enhance and create boundary features such as hedgerows. The Forestry Commission will work with local communities to improve their knowledge of the importance of the historic boundaries.
Communities will be encouraged to feel a sense of guardianship which will enable them to identify and deal with issues in that area such as fly tipping and ditch clearance.
SINC's are Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation. These vary from small ponds, woodland and grassland. There will be small grants available through the projects for encouraging active and appropriate management.
Parish Councils will be asked to help identify areas of archaeological and historical significance and to protect heritage areas that may be at risk.
All bridleways, drift ways and footpaths to be surveyed and parishes are to be asked which routes they consider important and to appoint Historic Route Champions.
Volunteers are also to be asked to record built heritage. There will be training courses in traditional building skills.
A further objective will be to develop areas of wild play. Youth organisations are to be consulted and the Hampshire and Isle Wight Wildlife Trust are also to be involved.
It's all about taking our past into the future!