New Forest East

DEFRA – CAMPSITES IN THE NEW FOREST [69405] - 03 July 2020

DEFRA – CAMPSITES IN THE NEW FOREST [69405] - 03 July 2020

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what consultation (a) Forestry England and (b) Camping in the Forest undertook with New Forest District Council before the announcement that 10 campsites in the New Forest would not reopen until Spring 2021; which of the those organisations took that decision; what assessment (i) Forestry England, (ii) the New Forest National Park Authority and (iii) his Department made of the potential effect of those closures on (A) the local economy and (B) unauthorised camping on the open forest; what (1) financial and (2) legal sanctions are available to the district council and others to reverse that decision; and whether he plans to take steps to secure the reversal of that decision.  [69405]

[Due for Answer on 9 July.] 


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Opportunities (Rebecca Pow): Camping in the Forest is an independent operator of campsites in Great Britain. It is majority owned by the Camping and Caravanning Club. The decision not to open in 2020 was taken by Camping in the Forest. Any engagement or assessment of potential effect of the closures would be a matter for that independent business.

Forestry England (FE) is disappointed with this decision and is in dialogue with Camping in the Forest to request that the decision be reconsidered, but the ultimate decision rests with Camping in the Forest.

FE is in active discussion with the New Forest National Park Authority and other interested local parties about steps that can be taken to manage unauthorised camping.