Parish Plan

gatehouseBeaulieu Parish, located in the south-east corner of the New Forest National Park, is an unspoilt area at the head of the tidal reaches of the Beaulieu River. Beaulieu village, itself, has changed little over the years: the village centre has remained compact and there has been little outlying development in recent times. There are approximately 345 properties in the Parish, the majority of which are privately owned.

Most people who responded to the Beaulieu Parish Plan questionnaires expressed their satisfaction at living in an attractive area close to the river, with delightful surrounding countryside, and with all the advantages which it offers. 72% of the respondents have lived in the area for over 20 years, although only 16% were born within the Parish.

Traffic and tourism have increased vastly with the proliferation of motor vehicles, causing both problems for and benefits to the local community. Cars are needed by visitors to reach the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu village and the surrounding countryside, whilst residents need cars to gain access to nearby towns and villages. Many lorries of ever increasing size negotiate the narrow lanes; some of these same lorries are driven up the village High Street to satisfy the requirements of local businesses, whilst others are just passing through.

Shops and Businesses

There are 11 shops and 49 businesses within the Parish of Beaulieu in addition to the agricultural enterprises and farms; these are listed at Annex 1. Between 300 and 400 people, apart from seasonal agricultural workers, are employed throughout the Parish at the height of the tourist season, from April to the end of October. The number falls to probably just over 200 in the quieter winter months. The major employer in the area is Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd which comprises the National Motor Museum complex, Buckler's Hard and the Beaulieu River. shops1Some of the businesses are linked to motoring, notably Vintage Tyre Supplies Limited and the Beaulieu Classic Car Showrooms.

Visitors come to the area to visit the New Forest and the picturesque village, as well as the Museum attractions, and want accommodation in the area: the two hotels, the Montagu Arms and the Master Builder's House Hotel, benefit from the tourist trade, as do the bed and breakfast businesses. When day-trippers visit the village they patronise the four eateries in the High Street: the Old Bake House, The Hungry Gardener, Monty's, and Beaulieu Delicatessen; they also buy ice-creams and snacks from other shops.

shops2At the village of Buckler's Hard, at the southern end of the Parish, the river and yachting activities are a major source of employment. The main enterprises are the Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour, Buckler's Hard Boat Builders, Byrne Longshaw and Co (boat designers), BHG Marine, Kings Yacht Agency and the Master Builder's House Hotel. In all some 70 people are employed in the Buckler's Hard area.

Other businesses are directly related to the surrounding forest and agricultural land. Norris and Sons sell animal feedstuffs; they also stock a wide range of equestrian products. There are nurseries growing plants and trees for sale, both wholesale and retail, (Aline Fairweather Ltd and Chichester Trees). Fairweather's run a Garden Centre in the High Street which has 2 sub-tenants, Upcher and Co, and Apple Conservatories. The Countryside Education Trust, a registered charity, runs courses for both children and adults from two sites within the Beaulieu Estate; one a residential centre with a smallholding and the other a woodland study centre.

shops3 shops4

Village Organisations

organisations1A list of clubs, societies and organisations is given in Annex 2. Most organisations find it difficult to recruit new members, particularly from within Beaulieu Parish. organisations2It is also difficult to encourage younger members to join some clubs, for example the Cricket Club, the Camera Club, and the Beaulieu Band would particularly welcome newcomers. Some organisations are still unaware of the existence of the Beaulieu Common Good Trust, organisatins2 which is funded by 50% of the profit from the annual village fete. The object of the Trust is to help finance village organisations that request grants for specific purposes. Beaulieu Abbey Church also receives 50% of the fete profit annually.

organisations3

Likes, Dislikes, Suggestions

likes1Respondents were asked to list three things that they liked about Beaulieu, three things that they disliked and three things that they would like to see improved in the future.

Looking at the responses to the question on likes, 38% expressed their appreciation of the natural surroundings, its beauty, the Beaulieu River, the New Forest, the peace and tranquillity and the wildlife. 21% mentioned the village, its traditional character and shops, and 20% mentioned the community and its people. These points were followed by the availability of outdoor activities and an appreciation of the Estate's role in relation to the Parish.

As far as dislikes were concerned, 38% related to traffic: to heavy goods vehicles, to the speed of traffic, including vehicles in the High Street, and to the general increase in through traffic. 16% mentioned problems associated with parking. Footpaths were inadequate; disruption was caused by tourism, particularly by 'outdoor events' at the Museum complex.

Overall, 65% of respondents complained of some aspect of traffic at least once and 33% complained of parking issues at least once. Over a third gave fewer than three dislikes, some simply replied 'none'.

When it came to suggesting improvements, 26% related to traffic, 18% to parking, and 12% to foot and cycle paths. 11% were suggestions for local shops and eateries and 10% related to improving or increasing community facilities. Next came suggestions to reduce pollution, followed by those on increasing access to services. 

likes2 likes3

Children's Questionnaire

All the children who answered the questionnaire were positive about living in Beaulieu but traffic is of great concern, particularly when it comes to cycling safely to, through, and around the village. Some children said that they would like to see safe cycle paths; others suggested a larger, better equipped playground, a designated children's cycling and skateboarding area, the setting up of a drama club and finding a place where films could be shown. (See Action Plan Projects 5 , 6 and 12 .)

Main Questionnaire

respondents1

Representatives from 53% of the households in the Parish responded to the questionnaire. In general, the basic findings were not dissimilar to those of the 2001 census allowing for differences in time. The sample is therefore probably reasonably representative of the Parish as a whole. 48% of the households consisted of two people and 23% of houses had only one occupant.

The population in these households was elderly, with 41% aged 60 or over, 41% aged 19-59, and 18% aged 18 or less. 30% were retired; 44% were employed or self-employed; 9% were not in paid work; 3% were in further or higher education; 12% were in school, and 3% were under five years. 63% of the homes were owner occupied, 24% privately rented, with the remainder being provided as part of employment or as housing association accommodation.

For 76% of respondents, their house in Beaulieu was their only home and 93% of houses were occupied all or most of the time; 8% were used mainly for week-ends or for holidays. 33% of the houses had no double glazing, 50% did not have cavity walls but of those that did, only 53% had cavity wall insulation.

respondent2