Some carry on camping at New Forest site despite lockdown

Setthorns camp site, near Sway

SOME people are still living on a New Forest campsite despite the company that runs it having claimed it was closed due to the coronavirus.


Camping in the New Forest has insisted it is not breaking any rules by allowing continued use at its Setthorns site, which is one of 10 it runs throughout the district.

The A&T was contacted by a Brockenhurst villager angry that people were still at Setthorns, which is off the B3058 road from the village to Lyndhurst.

When challenged by the A&T, a spokesman for Camping in the New Forest, which had announced on 22nd March it was closing its sites, admitted some people were still living at Setthorns.

Claiming this was within government regulations, he said: “Following further contact with the site manager, we can confirm there are seven camping units on site under the provision for people to stay there where their primary residence is not available.

“There are a further seven camping units on site that belong to staff members who were still on site when the closure happened, and who are also allowed to remain on the site in accordance with government regulations.

“Anyone remaining on the site is required to follow government guidance on hygiene and social distancing,” he went on.

“You cannot see the Setthorns campsite from the road, the site is closed and there should be no visible signs to suggest otherwise to local people passing because all the camping units are tucked away.”

The spokesman continued: “Our sites remain staffed and many of our workforce live on site for security. In exceptional cases we can allow campers to remain on site, which complies with the current government requirements.

“They say: ‘Where people live in these [campsites] as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable, or they live in them in permanently they may continue to do so’.”

He added: “It’s important that we look after our contracted site staff during this unsettling time and while our campsites are closed they remain on site to look after them, ready to welcome visitors back to this beautiful area when the time is right to do so.”



  1. This is jump on the bandwagon, irresponsible reporting. Because of today’s economic climate, many people live in vans or are digital nomads travelling around the country for work. A great number of these are NHS staff. Just last week some van dwellers were literally hounded out of Scotland by a mob who threatened to ‘burn them in their vans’. These are their homes, if they park up for 3 months they need access to electricity, water and shower facilities.
    I am appalled at the curtain twitchers who feel the need to report it. And you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to create hate towards a group of people who live differently to you. Develop a little empathy, and do some research!

  2. Surely you are classed as residential if people are living in there units perminately therfore you have to have a council licence to to do so. Also do you have proof that each person that are inbetween there normal property.
    I am not just being a sour grape just facts are facts and hope your answers are good.

  3. This is an extraordinary stare of affairs and there has to be some common sense applied at the moment. There are a lot of people who are full time van dwellers, that doesn’t mean they remain in one place and I very much doubt they would be choosing to remain there if there were allowed to follow their usual routine! Also many camper hire companies are loaning there vans to front line staff to stay in as they can’t return to their families due to risk of infection. Personally I applaud this site for allowing those who need it to stay, many other places have not been sympathetic, and the general public and also the police have been known to harass van users and move them on!

  4. Wendy, does it really matter to you that much? A very few units, locked in a closed campsite, no facilities, no shop, no loos, no restaurant, no pool, just getting by, like the rest of us. What’s happened to your compassion and understanding?

  5. I see people coming into EFFORD park next to MY LAND. They park up & go for a walk or jog.
    Government should restrict how far from your home you can go for cycle, walk or run as people are taking the mickey!
    Some of the people who dont live or work at efford park have even had a pee in my field sat on my gate.
    When I catch them I will take their photo & put it online to the police!

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