The National Parks of Great Britan

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Prentice Bloedel’s $1.25 million covered the open reservoirs and built the country’s first geodesic conservatory surrounded by covered walkways, lighted fountains and a magnificent sculpture (Knife Edge - Two Piece) by modern artist Henry Moore. The Bloedel Floral Conservatory opened on December 6, 1969 amidst much jubilation with its many climatic zones, displaying a huge variety of plants and

a superb selection of free flying tropical birds.


There are several other attractions in the park. These include a pitch and putt golf course, a disc golf course, tennis courts, a lawn bowling club, and a restaurant.

A view of the park

New Forest

The New Forest is an area of southern England which includes the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in the heavily-populated south east of England. It covers south west Hampshire and some of contiguous southeast Wiltshire.

The name also refers to the New Forest National Park which has similar boundaries. Additionally the New Forest local government district is a subdivision of Hampshire which covers most of the forest, and some nearby areas although it is no longer the planning authority for the National Park. There are many small villages dotted around the area.

The highest point in the New Forest is Piper’s Wait, just west of Bramshaw. Its summit is at 125 m (410 ft) above mean sea level

6. History of the New Forest

Like much of England, the New Forest was originally woodland, but parts were cleared for cultivation from the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age. However, the poor quality of the soil in the new forest meant that the cleared areas turned into heathland “waste”. There are around 250 round barrows [1] within its boundaries, and scattered boiling mounds, and it also includes about 150 scheduled ancient monuments.

The New Forest was created as a royal forest around 1080 by William the Conqueror for the hunting of (mainly) deer. It was first recorded as “Nova Foresta" in the Domesday Book in 1086, and is the only forest that the book describes in detail. Twelfth-century chroniclers alleged that William had created the forest by evicting the inhabitants of thirty-six parishes, reducing a flourishing district to a wasteland; however, this account is dubious, as the poor soil in much of the forest is incapable of supporting large-scale agriculture, and significant areas appear to have always been uninhabited. Two of William’s sons died in the forest, Prince Richard in 1081 and William Rufus in 1100. The reputed spot of the Rufus’ death is marked with a stone known as the Rufus Stone.

As of 2005, roughly ninety per cent of the New Forest is still owned by the Crown. The Crown lands have been managed by the Forestry Commission since 1923. Around half of the Crown lands fall inside the new National Park.

Formal commons rights were confirmed by statute in 1698. Over time, the New Forest became a source of timber for the Royal Navy, and plantations were deliberately created in the 18th century for this specific purpose. In the Great Storm of 1703, about four thousand oak trees were lost in the New Forest.

The naval plantations encroached on the rights of the Commoners, but the Forest gained new protection under an Act of Parliament in 1877. The New Forest Act 1877 confirmed the historic rights of the Commoners and prohibited the enclosure of more than 16,000 acres (65 km²) at any time. It also reconstituted the Court of Verderers as representatives of the Commoners (rather than the Crown).

Felling of broadleaf trees, and replacement by conifers, began during the First World War to meet the wartime demand for wood. Further encroachments were made in the Second World War. This process is today being reversed in places, with some plantations being returned to heathland or broadleaf woodland.

Further New Forest Acts followed in 1949, 1964 and 1970. The New Forest became a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1971, and was granted special status as the “New Forest Heritage Area” in 1985, with additional planning controls added in 1992. The New Forest was proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 1999, and it became a National Park in 2005.

Edward Rutherfurd’s work of historical fiction, The Forest, is based in the New Forest in the time period from 1099 through 2000.

New Forest National Park

Consultations on the possible designation of a National Park in the New Forest were commenced by the Countryside Agency in 1999. An order to create the park was made by the Agency on 24 January 2002 and submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation in February 2002. Following objections from seven local authorities and others, a Public Inquiry was held from 8 October 2002 to 10 April 2003, concluding with that the proposal should be endorsed with some detailed changes to the boundary of the area to be designated.

On 28 June 2004, Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael confirmed the government’s intention to designate the area as a National Park, with further detailed boundary adjustments. The area was formally designated as such on 1 March 2005. A National Park Authority for the New Forest was established on 1 April 2005 and assumed its full statutory powers on 1 April 2006. The Forestry Commission retain their powers to manage the Crown land within the Park, and the Verderers under the New Forest Acts also retain their responsibilities, and the Park Authority is expected to co-operate with these bodies, the local authorities, English Nature and other interested parties.

The designated area of the National Park covers 571 km² (141097 acres) and includes many existing SSSIs. It has a population of approximately 38,000 (excluding most of the 170,256 people who live in the New Forest local government district). As well as most of the New Forest district of Hampshire, it takes in the South Hampshire Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a small corner of Test Valley district around the village of Canada and part of the Salisbury district in Wiltshire south-east of Redlynch.

However, the area covered by the park does not include all the areas which were initially proposed; excluding most of the valley of the River Avon to the west of the forest and Dibden Bay to the east. Two challenges were made to the designation order, by Meyrick Estate Management Ltd in relation to the inclusion of Hinton Admiral Park, and by RWE Npower Plc to the inclusion of Fawley Power Station. The second challenge was settled out of court, with the power station being excluded. The High Court upheld the first challenge; [13] but an appeal against the decision was then heard by the Court of Appeal in Autumn 2006. The final ruling, published on 15 February 2007, found in favour of the challenge by Meyrick Estate Management Ltd, [14] and the land at Hinton Admiral Park is therefore excluded from the New Forest National Park.

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