Monday 8th February

Monthly Meeting

South Lawn Hotel, Lymington Road, Milford on Sea, SO41 0RF

Gale Pettifer is a final-year Doctoral researcher at the University of Southampton, with an interest in political and environmental history.

She is also a practicing New Forest commoner with the Right of Pasturage, meaning she can depasture cattle, ponies and donkeys onto the unenclosed New Forest.

In her illustrated talk, Gale will explain how during the eighteenth century there was a widely held belief that Britain was suffering from ‘a great scarcity of timber’ and more particularly ‘that sort of which our ships are constructed’.

This belief led to proposals for the New Forest to be enclosed for timber production and the remainder to be sold by public sale. Was this modern history’s first instance of ‘fake news’?

Gale’s talk will reveal how close the New Forest, one of Britain's most iconic landscapes, came to being lost to future generations.