Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A New Chairman for the New Forest Association

The 144 year old New Forest Association is delighted to announce the election of Peter Roberts as its new Chairman.

A former Amenity Verderer, Peter has been involved with the Association for more than twenty years. He has taken lead roles in the New Forest CPRE as well as being a past President of the Hampshire Field Club. He represents the NFA at both local level on the Consultative Panel, and also nationally for the Campaign for National Parks as a council member.

An orienteer, cyclist and runner (he recently completed a 26 mile charity walk for Wiltshire Wildlife - the Sarsen Trail), Peter is committed to developing the NFA’s strength as a major force for conservation and protection. He believes that his task is to help create the conditions for the organisation to bring the message of the importance and fragility of the New Forest to a new generation. 'We must embrace modern technology in ensuring that our successors understand that the pressures on the New Forest are greater than ever and cannot continue without unacceptable further erosion.'

No stranger to campaigning, Peter, alongside outgoing Chairman, William Ziegler, most recently played a major part in the NFA's successful campaign to thwart the coalition government's unworkable Forest Estate sell-off plans.

A keen local historian he has written a number of specialist books and articles on the Forest and was responsible, with Richard Reeves, for the publication of five volumes in the New Forest Record Series published by the New Forest Centre.

Peter’s wide life experience includes owning and managing an electrical retail business in Hythe before turning to recycling - running a second-hand bookshop at Ashurst for ten years with his partner Georgina Babey. An enthusiastic user of the Forest he is also a keen photographer, often combining history, wildlife and the Forest into a day’s walk.

A note on the outgoing Chairman, William Ziegler
by Peter Roberts:

William Ziegler's infectious enthusiasm has carried many a project in the last ten years. He steered a middle course, when it was needed, in negotiations that led to the implementation of a National Park. His pragmatism then ensured that the NFA worked with the emerging Authority to achieve the best from it. He worked hard with other stalwarts to set up a 'show team' that continues to tour in the summer carrying our message. He also led the team and was involved in a huge amount of work that made the National Park Societies Conference in 2008 such a success at Foxlease. He has maintained good communications with many other Forest organisations, in particular the Verderers offering support and ideas for the benefit of the Forest.

New vice-chairman

John Ward has been elected vice-chairman.