Love painting? Love drawing Forestry backgrounds? Live in or near rural areas of the New Forest and need better Broadband – or ANY Broadband? Then this is for you!

Alexi Sugden, Focus Team Leader for Fordingbridge and Lyndhurst, is thrilled to announce the launch of a new competition for you.

We are looking for the best camouflage design to be painted on Broadband cabinets (approx. 90cms wide x 110cms high – the complete specifications will be sent to competition entrants). The cabinets need to be totally camouflaged so that they cannot be seen from the roadside. They must blend in completely with the New Forest scenery.

Why this competition?

Many of us who live in or near the New Forest in very rural areas have almost no, or minimum, Broadband. The Coalition Government put policy in place to roll out better Broadband for those living in rural communities but this has stalled since 2015 and those people who live in the most rural villages of the New Forest still have a very poor Broadband service.

The New Forest has some of the slowest broadband speeds in the country and part of the problem, it is said, is because Broadband cabinets are not permitted to be sited within the New Forest National Park.

What we are trying to do is to ask the Government to ask the Verderers to please allow cabinets to be sited in the New Forest which will make such a difference to everybody who lives in or near it.

In early December, an announcement was made by the New Forest Verderers. In that announcement, they mentioned that the Verderers are intending to change their policy and are now prepared to replace items already on the Forest floor (a rotting notice board that needs removing, for example) to be replaced by a Broadband cabinet.

Whilst we greatly appreciate the move towards a real change, it will, of necessity, be very slow and the odd cabinet every couple of years will make very little discernible difference to our Broadband coverage.

Therefore, the solution of camouflaging the cabinets has come up.

We believe that presenting the Verderers with a beautiful camouflage design for all new cabinets will do the trick and may persuade them to allow more cabinets in the Forest.

The competition will be judged by two locals. The first judge is highly-talented New Forest observer and author, Sally Fear, whose new book ‘Crown Keepers of the New Forest’ has a foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh!

The second judge, our secret judge, is to be announced.

The winner will be announced at the beginning of May 2017.

For more information, or to enter, contact Ms Alexi Sugden through mobile or email:

mob: 07885 707895

email: alexi.sugden@btconnect.com

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