Results of new research

An objection to the Latchmore Planning Application has been sent to the NFNPA by Professor Adrian Newton, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University.  In his letter, dated 24 October 2016, Professor Newton cites recently-completed research by a doctoral student in his Faculty, the results of which are directly relevant to the Forestry Commission’s proposals for the “restoration” of Latchmore Brook.

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Formal Complaint to DEFRA

A formal complaint has been sent to DEFRA by Professor J G Shepherd CBE FRS concerning Natural England’s management of their HLS programme in the New Forest.

Documents referred to in the letter are available by clicking on the following links: 1) Letter of objection sent to NPA;  2) Comments on “Assessment of Evidence” by Thomas et al;  3) “Assurance Report” by Tim Hill;  4) Comments on “Assessment of Evidence: Assurance Report”.


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NE Review of Wetland Restoration in the New Forest

Comments from Professor J G Shepherd CBE FRS on Natural England’s document “An Assessment of Evidence Supporting a Programme of Wetland Restoration Projects in the New Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest” (Thomas et al, 16 September 2016) are here; and on NE’s “Assurance Report” (Dr Tim Hill, 19 October 2016), here.

To read Natural England’s “An Assessment of Evidence Supporting a Programme of Wetland Restoration Projects in the New Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest: Assurance Report” please click here; and a letter dated 21 October 2016 from Natural England to the NPA regarding the Assurance Report is here.

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A letter to the editor

In a letter to the Lymington Times published on 7 October, local resident Beryl Bull cites yet another New Forest stream where “restoration” works have had a detrimental effect on the wildlife in the area.  Although the letter refers to the Latchmore application being considered by the NPA planning committee on 18 October, we have had confirmation from the NPA recently that this date has been changed to 15 November.  The last paragraph also confirms that the MP for New Forest East, the Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis, has sent a call-in request to the Secretary of State.

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Call-In request

On 23 August 2016 our MP, the Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne TD, wrote to the Secretary of State requesting that the Latchmore planning application be called in for a planning decision.  Please click here for Sir Desmond’s letter and here for the Minister’s reply.

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Imminent threat to protected geological site

A recent letter to the National Park Authority from Natural England advises that proposed works at Latchmore Brook/Studley Wood can proceed despite the threat to internationally important geological exposures and strong objections from two research scientists working at the Natural History Museum in London.  This unique site is the only locality where the geological strata, with its species-rich fossil fauna, of the Studley Wood Member of the Selsey Formation are visible for study;  letters emphasising its importance for future scientific research were received by the NPA from, among others, Dr J. Todd and Mr S. Tracey.


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Internal Review

In a letter to the NPA (which is here), Natural England state that they are expecting the joint NE/FC “Assessment of evidence supporting wetland restoration projects in the New Forest” to be complete during October.  It will be subject to “independent peer review” through Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee.  We are disappointed that this work will be carried out internally by NE/FC, instead of the thorough and independent review that we were expecting.

We understand that the NPA’s Planning Committee have deferred consideration of the Latchmore planning application from 18 October to their following meeting on 15 November, which means that a planning decision will not be made by the NPA until after the Assessment has been completed.

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