REFERRING to the Channel 4 documentary about the New Forest (A Year in the New Forest, Saturday, July 28, 7pm). I have no problem with viewers having a better understanding of rural life in particular to protecting animals and plants, but I get frustrated by the idea of promoting the area as some form of holiday destination. If that was such a worthwhile proposition, why did Forest Park Hotel in Lyndhurst, fail?

Anthony Climpson seems to believe the New Forest is some kind of theme park. When, it is meant to be protected by being a national park and funded at the moment, in part via our membership of the European Union. Tourism clashes with a rural community. I remember when the A31 and A35 were unfenced. We had local dairies and chicken farms, local bakeries and a lot more. Now it appears to be more like Hollywood with people having loads of money and egos to got with it, but contribute nothing towards the rural area. Indeed, many own properties simply as second homes. Others, have built endless numbers of outbuildings. Move boundaries to land grab, even building brick boundary walls in what use to be the ditch.

The ruling should be, a ditch next to the road side, then the property bank, fence and any hedge.

The local MPs were not originally local nor, often, some councillors and those in the National Park panel. But they dictate to the rest of us who have been here for generations.

I also wish to mention that ponies, cattle, pigs are turned out by private owners, and paid for doing so.

Deer, I believe are still owned by the Crown.

To the east of the Forest we have Southampton which has some of the worse air pollution in the UK, to the west an expanding Bournemouth taking in Poole and our neighbours, Christchurch.

Will that, come across within the Channel 4 series?

It hasn’t, when other programme makers visit the New Forest.

If you take my surname combined with that of my Grandmother, Rooke. The family tree shows us also related with the Burrards. That means we have been in the New Forest area for centuries. As for myself, I have lived in my road, where I was born, longer than anyone else alive.

Richard Grant