Statement from New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre:
'We are asking people to respect and care for the New Forest and its communities at this critical time.
'Our priority is to keep people and the Forest safe and so we are working with partners to lift the restrictions carefully and in a measured way. As the Prime Minister has said, the new rules are only going to work if everyone acts responsibly and uses common sense. In a National Park context that means that when out in the Forest everyone must continue to respect and observe the social distancing rules.
'Our partners are opening a number of their car parks and this will be kept under review (see Forestry England and New Forest District Council’s websites). But, in line with Government restrictions, our local attractions, pubs, campsites, restaurants and hotels remain closed, along with public toilets. It is also important that visitors remember that the hospitality and leisure businesses are not likely to open before July and will not be able to welcome them until then.
'The Forest is also on an amber fire warning due to the recent dry weather so no barbecues are allowed and we ask that, as always, people respect the vulnerable areas that are closed to protect ground nesting birds, stick to the designated routes when cycling, keep their distance from New Forest animals and follow the countryside code.'