SIR – I am sure I will not be alone in wondering why Forestry England have decided to go ahead with the closure of many of the car parks within the New Forest this year, as they have for several winters past.

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This is an exceptional year, with holidays or even weekends away impossible for many.

Those of us who live locally will have noticed the enormous increase in vehicles using the car parks, often with extensive parking along verges.

This has proliferated the installation of dragons’ teeth and notices not to use the verges, but with the car parks overflowing this is often ignored.

No one can blame people wanting to exercise in the fresh air. Indeed, it is universally acknowledged that being able to get out to walk, run or cycle is vital for us all, plus our dogs, physically and mentally.

So many other entertainment facilities are closed; getting out into the countryside is free and often the only option.

Surely this needs to be the year when Forestry England makes an exception and leaves all the car parks open. It should be their contribution to our wellbeing and if any areas need to be ‘refurbished’ – not a lot of evidence of that in the past – it should be possible to close one at a time for maintenance and in a timely manner.

Come on, Forestry England – open all the car parks swiftly and make life in Covid-19 far more pleasant for us all.

Caroline Birch,
Boldre

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