Launching the month-long clean-up campaign in Brockenhurst, representatives from New Forest District Council, Forestry Commission, New Forest National Park Authority and Brockenhurst Parish Council are keen to encourage people to get involved.
Events will be taking place across the New Forest between Friday 22 March and Tuesday 23 April to tie in with The Great British Spring Clean, a national campaign led by Keep Britain Tidy and the Year of Green Action which encourages more people from all backgrounds to get involved in projects to improve the natural world.
The Forest organisations have been jointly running the annual ‘Spring Clean ups’ since 2007 assisted by willing volunteers on hand to refresh the Forest.
If you want to come and help the Forest rangers, here is a list of some of the main public events where you can turn up and join in:
· 22 March Boltons Bench, Lyndhurst 1.30pm to 3pm
· 23 March Beaulieu Heath 10am to midday
· 30 March Roundhill Campsite, Brockenhurst 10am to midday
· 31 March Wilverley Plain, Sway 10am to midday
· 6 April Ocknell Campsite and Lepe Country Park 10am to midday
· 7 April Lower Pennington Reserve 10am to 2.30pm
· 30 April National Trust’s clean ups are held at Half Moon Common, Hale Purlieu, Rockford and Ibsley Common and Hightown Common from 10am to midday
Groups can arrange their own litter picks during the spring clean or throughout the year by contacting New Forest District Council, who are able to offer support including loan of litter grabbing equipment and collection of the rubbish after the event. For more information about the support the council can offer, and how to book a litter pick go to www.newforest.gov.uk/springclean.
Cllr Alison Hoare, Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Regulatory Services at New Forest District Council, said: ‘Litter is a great threat to our natural environment, having a devastating impact on the animals within our forest and the wildlife in our oceans. I am overwhelmed by the number of people, 580 so far, who have volunteered to litter pick and support the New Forest Great British Spring Clean, many of whom litter pick throughout the year as well. To them I would like to say a big thank you.’
Edward Heron, Deputy Chairman of New Forest National Park Authority, Appointed National Park Verderer and Hampshire County Councillor for Lyndhurst and Fordingbridge, said: ‘The Year of Green Action celebrates the 70th anniversary of national parks in England and Wales and is a wonderful way of getting people involved in improving the natural world. So, thank you to all those volunteering their time and to all the unsung litter heroes who tidy up on a regular basis while they go about their day. Litter not only spoils the appearance of our spectacular National Park but is also harmful to the free-roaming Forest animals and to wildlife.’
Bruce Rothnie, Deputy Surveyor of the Forestry Commission, said: ‘We are pleased to be part of this campaign and our staff will be taking part in many of the events. All of us who love the Forest want to protect it from the blight of litter and the damage it causes. These litter picking events are a great way for everyone across the community to get involved in helping to keep the Forest tidy and care for this special place.’
You can get involved in the public spring cleans and send us your photos by tagging #nfspringclean on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Find an event near you at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/newforestspringclean or www.keepbritaintidy.org.
The New Forest Spring Clean is organised by New Forest District Council, Forestry Commission, New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire County Council, National Trust and the Verderers of the New Forest.