Bickerley Common – A welcome increase of public access rights.

After consultation with the New Forest Access Forum and the New Forest Ramblers Natural England have reduced the access restriction on Bickerley Common. This means that this area of land is now open to explore on foot (and using mobility aides) from the 1st of August to the 31st of September.

This is a 50% reduction of the previous direction which only allowed access for one month a year.  The Natural England statement reads as follows;

Decision on review of existing direction restricting access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
Case number 200702060 – Bickerley 
Natural England has now considered all the information and comments received on the above review following a second period of consultation. We have now varied the direction, reducing the annual timing of the restriction period to, 1st October to 31st July.  We will therefore extend the direction for a further six years with the new annual dates applied.
The New Forest Access Forum welcomes this decision and although it fought for a longer opening period it respects the value of this habitat for the summer ground nesting birds and the overwintering birds.