SIR – I wish to commend Anthony Pasmore for his article about the national park authority and Forestry England’s (FE) daft proposals for Hatchet Pond (New Forest Notes, 6th November).
To close the toilet block when there are few enough toilets and rubbish bins across the Forest is asinine. I couldn’t agree more with his comments about both the proliferation and increase in size of the many inappropriately placed and unnecessary signposts that have been sprouting all across the Forest in recent years.
Many of them are a waste of time and money. For instance, the people who ignored the request “not to disturb nesting birds” are not going to take any more notice of larger and uglier signs. (How do we tell the cows not to trample the nest?)
Ever since I first started coming to the Forest from Sussex in 1954/5, we knew it was a special place. It didn’t have – and we didn’t need – the current plethora of notices to tell us. For many years the AA and other such providers have been telling us that the New Forest is a wonderful public amenity that deserves more than a fleeting visit.
Of course, we need to protect the wildlife. But self-centred, single-interest groups that seem to control the NPA and FE all need to be reminded that, especially at this difficult time when people have added time on their hands and we are exhorted to exercise to relieve boredom, the New Forest is a public amenity.
So rather than proposals to close places down to the public, they should consider how they could help us sensibly use them.
Having closed half the car parks for many weeks last winter and then kept them closed for an additional 12 weeks during the first lockdown, it is iniquitous that so many have again been closed.