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The New Forest Association is asking for a review of high-speed, off-road cycling events in the New Forest following concerns about the management of some events and their potential damaging effects on the Forest.
The NFA is making a presentment to the Verderers Court today (January 18th) calling for their support in initiating a review.
The NFA is asking for the New Forest National Park Authority to review the management of recreation in the forest, the rationale for off-road cycling, the success of existing cycle routes, systems for managing and policing off-road cycling events, and how to plan for maximum enjoyment of the Forest with minimal damage.
Peter Roberts, NFA Chairman, says that the new cycle routes suggested in the National Park Authority's Recreational Management Strategy may be premature.
"It is time to take stock," he said. "We need to think seriously about recreational management in the New Forest and what has been successful or unsuccessful so far. Cycling is beneficial to health and a wonderful way to enjoy the Forest but we need to consider the best way for more visitors to enjoy the Forest without destroying the very thing they have come to enjoy.
"We support responsible cycling both on and off road within the New Forest and recognise that it will grow. But there are other forests that are better suited and more appropriate to high-speed mass cycling events."