Did you know that for every £10 spent in a local New Forest business, nearly 40 per cent (£3.80) stays within the area, showing the value of supporting local? 

If everyone in the UK spent just £5 a week in their local shops and businesses, a further £13.5 billion would go directly back into those local towns and enterprises.

It works like this – local businesses such as coffee shops or restaurants receive money and then spend it locally; on supplies, raw materials, wages or in other outlets, the money magically multiplies, supporting that community and its residents.

Add in the environmental benefits, which include fewer air and road miles, meaning less carbon production and pollution and it’s a total no-brainer – shopping and sourcing locally works.

So, given you now know this, here’s our top 5 ways to support local in the New Forest in 2022 :

1. Look out for our New Forest MarqueIt’s your guarantee of produce grown, reared, caught, brewed, made or processed within the New Forest. The New Forest Marque mainly covers food and drink but around one-third of its members work in craft, art and education-related areas. For a hand-crafted item to have the NFM stamp of approval it must not only be made in the New Forest Marque area but also be produced from a minimum of 25 per cent locally sourced raw materials.

2. Book your next meal at a pubrestaurant or cafe with a 25-mile or sustainable menu. The Pig in Brockenhurst was an early adopter of this environmentally-friendly policy and you’ll also find a similar philosophy at The Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu, where the chef is able to pick veg and collect eggs from his own kitchen garden! Balmer Lawn Hotel and The Crown Manor House Hotel are just a couple of other hotels serving this type of menu.  

Check out, too our farm shops and, when in season, our PYOs. With many of  their vegetables coming from over the road from Patrick’s Patch as well as free-range eggs, sausages and bacon, you’ll get great food, sustainably sourced, at the ever popular Steff’s Kitchen at Fairweather's Garden Centre in Beaulieu. If you fancy some farm fare for lunch, with perhaps a little tipple, then Hockey’s Farm near Ibsley in the Forest’s north is a must. We’re proud to say that in the New Forest there are too many establishments to list here, so go to our website to find more local menus.

3. Gift local. Buying products made here allows you to send the unique cham of our National Park to your friends and family, as well as support local businesses. Check out the diverse range of local retailers and producers in the New Forest, selling the perfect gifts, including Burley FudgeNew Forest Shortbread and The Forest Foodie and local farm shops, Fordingbridge Farm Shop and Sunnyfields Farm Shop. Explore our wonderful towns and villages, where you will find more local shops.

4. Enjoy some great New Forest experiences. From Paulton’s Park – Home of Peppa Pig World, to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, and the tranquil beauty (with a miniature train!) of Exbury Gardens. For the little ones, Longdown Activity Farm at Ashurst, is well worth a season’s pass. Don’t forget, too, that you can book a whole host of outdoor experiences and sessions to enjoy in the coming year. There’s everything from winter paddling to ropes courses at New Forest Activities at Beaulieu, or try your hand at axe-throwing, woodland archery or crossbow shooting with Insight ActivitiesAvon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre have brilliant, action-filled, activities on site, including archery, abseiling, rafting and loads more. Again, check out our website for more details of all our amazing attractions and activities.

5. Buy a Go New Forest CardIt’s your passport to discounts and offers on everything from our top attractions to 5* dining, from bike hire to taxi fares, from cream teas to the latest fashion, beauty therapies to overnight accommodation - even MOT’s to all sorts of business services. There’s lots of offers for everyone and it’s been proven you can get your money back in your first purchase! Visit card.gonewforest.com to get yours now for just £10.