General advice on 2018 applications is on the RPA website:
Commoners on Social Media In 2017 many commoners participated in social media training from Social Jungle. This gave several members new found confidence to say more about their commoning and to engage positively with the general public.
The first practical result from this, which you may have spotted, was that in the Autumn a large group of statutory bodies, local organisations, and individuals came together to use the hashtag #Add3Minutes. This was the first time we've seen unity around a consistent, positive theme. The combined reach of those involved was massive and diverse, so a huge number of people will have seen our message that just a small behaviour change can make a big difference. The National Park also launched a pledge online on the theme. Whilst there is no way of knowing why animal accidents over the winter saw a significant drop over the previous year, it certainly gave everyone involved the encouragement to stick with the new approach to public engagement after years of trying the old ways of getting attention.
An increasing number of commoners are now using of the hashtag #RealNewForest on social media to appeal not only to existing supporters but to reach out to anyone interested in knowing more about the Forest, its cultural heritage, and its future. They are sharing stories of their everyday lives that might be of interest, and winning new friends for commoning. The key messages from the training were that if we want to make a difference we need to help more people know, like and trust us as individuals and as a group, and that we need to ensure that anything negative is well-balanced with positive communications. It has been wonderful to see this working in practice.
New Website Launching Spring 2018 Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund "Our Past, Our Future" project twe will be launching a new, comprehensive CDA "real New Forest' website in Spring 2018. Our new site will bring together a wealth of information on commoning, for commoners and the general public. It will incorporate everything that is already on the Shared Forest website and provide a new online presence for the Young Commoners. Sally Fear has generously donated photographs for the site, which will guarantee not only that it will be stunningly beautiful, but that it will show the real, living, working New Forest. Our ambition is that it will become the place to visit for all information on the real New Forest, which is very different to the image most people have.
We will provide updates as the project progresses with the wonderful team at Unstuck Design
MERCHANDISE FOR SALE -
Lovely print of the old Beaulieu Road Sales Ring. Measures 20" x 16", Comes unframed. £10 if collected from Sway / Lymington or £14.95 delivered within the New Forest area or posted.
T-Towels are £4 each, or £3 each for 10 or more. Can be posted, please contact us for a price as it depends on how many you purchase.
Legal Liability for your depastured animals There have been a few instances recently where commoners have been sent threatening correspondence by the insurers of vehicles who have been involved in road accidents involving their stock. To clarify, under the Animals Act 1971, you cannot be held liable. Please read the following extract which explains why.
Animals Act 1971: s8(2) Where damage is caused by animals straying from unfenced land to a highway a person who placed them on the land shall not be regarded as having committed a breach of the duty to take care by reason only of placing them there if: (a) the land is common land, or is land situated in an area where fencing is not customary, or is a town or village green; and (b) he had a right to place the animals on that land.