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Letters: Crowds and litter turning New Forest into a slum

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SIR – Since the easing of restrictions for travel and other social issues there has been a considerable increase in people visiting the New Forest, particularly at weekends and public holidays.

Even when car parks are not full drivers still park on verges in spite of notices put up by Forestry England prohibiting this. They even park in front of these signs.

There are also camper and other vans staying overnight, or for several days in car parks and on roadside verges, which is not allowed.

Most of these vehicles are not equipped with toilets and the occupants are using the bushes etc for their toilet needs and not clearing up the mess afterwards.

They leave litter all over the place as do people crowding together, ignoring social distancing, having parties and barbecues, which are now banned.

There is also the ongoing problem of discourteous and irresponsible cyclists using barred cycle routes without any consideration for others.

There are many cars driving along the access roads which significantly exceed the 20mph speed limit, presenting a danger to pedestrians and wildlife

All this is turning the Forest into a slum unfit for decent people to enjoy a relaxing time.

Local residents, the disabled, the elderly and those with young children are most affected by this as the perpetrators have left this mess behind them for others to clear up.

Forestry England must be given more authority to prevent this situation continuing, or there will be nothing worthwhile to hand down to future generations.

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