HC Deb 03 July 1911 vol 27 cc792-3

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been called to a protest of naturalists against the encamping and manœuvring of troops in the New Forest; whether he is aware that such troops were limited to the Hants Carabineers, who were encamped at Beaulieu; whether his Department has received any complaint of damage to the fauna or flora of the forest resulting from the presence of troops; whether any more troops are to be encamped in the forest this year; and, seeing that the verderers have powers to protect the amenities of the New Forest, whether he proposes to take any action in this matter?


The answer to the first and second parts of the question is in the affirmative. No complaints of damage to fauna and flora have been received. No troops are to be encamped in the Forest this year, but five Royal Marine Artillery Training Companies—who, like the Hampshire (Carabineers) Yeomanry, will encamp not in the forest, but on private ground—have permission to exercise for ten days each between July and September. The verderers are an efficient body and have full powers, which they use effectually, to preserve the amenities of the forest.


In view of the exceptionally valuable flora and fauna of the New Forest, can it be arranged that no manuoeuvres shall take place in that area until the end of June?


I am not at all sure that the persons who damage the flora and fauna are the troops; very often the damage is done by others.