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Hatchet Pond car park near Beaulieu to be relocated to protect rare wetland plants and freshwater animals





PERMISSION has been granted for a car park to be relocated at the popular Hatchet Pond visitor spot near Beaulieu to protect rare plants and creatures.

Forestry England applied to the national park authority for permission to move the gravel area away from the water's edge and closer to the access from the B3055.

A spokesperson for Forestry England told the A&T Hatchet Pond is the New Forest’s largest body of fresh water and home to some of the UK’s rarest wetland plants and freshwater animals.

Hatchet Pond is the New Forest’s largest body of fresh water (picture: Nick Lucas)
Hatchet Pond is the New Forest’s largest body of fresh water (picture: Nick Lucas)

They added: "This renowned local beauty spot is under major threat from pollution and over-use.

"Visitors also have a critical role to play in helping to ensure this special place can survive by not entering the water for swimming or any other reason and not allowing dogs into the water."

As reported in the A&T, Forestry England intended to begin the work in 2020, but it was postponed due to the pandemic.

It was put back further by the impact of the subsequent easing of lockdown, which saw huge numbers of visitors to the Forest.

The application, now signed off by the NPA, includes the installation of new gates at the car park entrance and dragons' teeth to prevent parking on the verges.

Two objections were made by members of the public who raised concerns about the new car park causing damage to the Forest, a lack of evidence that it would be less polluting, and a lack of accessible parking at the pond side.

An objection was also received from the Friends of the New Forest, which said that while it welcomed the intentions to restore Hatchet Pond, it had concerns over the impact on wildlife of moving the car park, and a lack of explanation over the selection the new site.



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