THE head of the New Forest National Park Authority, Clive Chatters, has defended the controversial proposals in the consultation document.

He insisted that the far-reaching plans for horse-ownership, dog-walking and roads were among many ideas to conserve the Forest for future generations.

Mr Chatters said of the proposals for road tolls: "Traffic has a real and increasing impact on the things that make the National Park special and people should consider in responding to these plans what they would like us and our partners to do about it.

"If people have other ideas for tackling traffic, we are keen to hear them.

"The idea of pricing is nothing new and features in transport plans for the New Forest area already, but there are no specific plans for road pricing at this stage.

"I urge everyone with a genuine interest in the New Forest National Park to read the plans and respond either online or on the forms provided.

"In that way, their views will be taken into account by the authority members before any firm decisions are taken on the final plans."