Title - Verderers' Court

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New Forest Acts

Links to the New Forest Acts of 1877, 1879, 1949, 1964 & 1970 are available on the Links page.

Verderers' Court business


The history of the Verderers

Evidence from the 13th century indicates that the Verderers were originally a court within the Forest, authorised by the Crown and elected by the County. They sat to hear cases of offences within the Sovereign's Forest. They could deal with minor offences directly (by fines) but more serious cases were referred to higher courts - ultimately the Forest Eyre.

Verderers' powers were enlarged in the 17th & 18th centuries to address offences undermining the planting and preservation of oak for ship-building (such as breaking Inclosure fences, encroachments on Crown land). Powers to deal with trespassers and abuses by Forest officers were also strengthened.

In 1877, the Verderers' Court was reconstituted by a New Forest Act of Parliament. The Act abolished the former oath of allegiance to the Crown. The Act required the appointment by the monarch of the Official Verderer and (originally) five Verderers to be chosen by the Commoners and Parliamentary voters in the New Forest parishes. They were to be the guardians of Commoners, common rights, and the Forest landscape.

The New Forest Act of 1949 increased the number of Verderers to comprise five elected, an Official Verderer, and four appointed members. The Act also gave the Verderers additional powers to make and amend byelaws.


Members of the Court

The members of the Verderers' Court are:

Mr. Dominic MayOfficial Verderer
Mr. Richard DeakinElected Verderer
Mr. Jim GreenwoodElected Verderer
Miss. Dionis MacnairElected Verderer
Mr. Anthony Pasmore Elected Verderer
Mr. David Redhead Elected Verderer
Mr. Hallam MillsAppointed DEFRA Verderer
Mr. Barry DowsettAppointed Forestry Commission Verderer
Mrs. Diana WesterhoffAppointed Natural England Verderer
Mr. Edward HeronAppointed National Park Verderer

The Verderers' Court
The Verderers' Court 2011

Court dates

The Court meets in ‘Open Court’ normally on the third Wednesday of each month, except In January and February (and Committee-only in December) which are held on the second Wednesdays. The public may address the Verderers on any matter relevant to the management of the New Forest and subject to the Court Regulations listed below.

The Court meets in the Verderers' Hall, The Queen's House, Lyndhurst initially at 9:30 a.m. in closed Committee, then from 10:00 a.m. there is the Open Court, and after Open Court, back to closed Committee.  Members of the public should aim to arrive at 10:00 a.m. for the Open Court. Court dates for 2016 are:

Members of the public may address the Court on any matter relevant to the management of the New Forest and subject to the Court Regulations listed below.


Agisters

The Agisters are employees of the Verderers. Their work is to assist in the management of Commoners' stock in the Forest. Specifically, they:

The Agisters
The Agisters

There are five Agisters, including a Head Agister, each covering a particular area within the Forest. Their contact details are:

Name Mobile
Mr. Jonathan Gerrelli
Head Agister
07836 602163
Mr. Andrew Napthine07836 203883
Mr. Robert Maton07836 500106
Mr. Peter Rix07721 409755
Mr. Mike Lovell07836 757579

Court minutes

The minutes of the Verderers' Court are available from 2003 to the present. The Court does not usually sit in August.

2016 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2015 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2014 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2013 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2012 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2011 January February March April
  May †† June July [August]
  September October November December
2010 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2009 January February † March April
  May June July [August]
  September October ‡ November December
2008 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2007 January February March April
  May June July August
  September October November December
2006 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2005 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2004 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December
2003 January February March April
  May June July [August]
  September October November December

‡ - The minutes of October 2009 refer to a Akercome Bottom SSSI consultation meeting on 7 Sep 09. Download the reportOpens in a new window and mapOpens in a new window.

† - The minutes of February 2009 refer to reports on the Latchmore SSSI stream filling and realignment project. Download Mr. Anthony Pasmore's reportOpens in a new window and Mr. Peter Frost's reportOpens in a new window.

†† - The May 2011 minutes refer to a letter from the Minister Rt Hon John Paice MP.


Accounts

The Report and Accounts of the Verderers of the New Forest, for the year ending 31st March 2015 are available for downloadOpens in a new window.


Tranquility in the Forest Policy

The Verderers' policy on Tranquility in the New Forest is available for downloadOpens in a new window.


Memorandum of Understanding
  between Forestry Commissioners & Verderers

In carrying out their statutory role as managers of the New Forest, the Forestry Commissioners are constrained by the existence of rights of common. However, these rights are subject to the Forestry Commissioners' statutory powers. The Commissioners have power, amongst other things, to authorise the use of land in the New Forest for the purpose of recreation and the appropriation of land in the New Forest for car parking and for camping sites. They also have powers to provide tourist, recreational or sporting facilities. The powers in the various New Forest Acts and those in the Countryside Act are only exercisable with the agreement of the Verderers.

In the context of the day-to-day management of the New Forest, it is necessary to decide how particular activities or other items which the Forestry Commissioners propose to permit, fall to be treated in the light of the legal rights and obligations outlined above. In particular, the parties have not always been able to agree whether particular items legally require the agreement of the Verderers. The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to set out the parties' intended approach in respect of specific items which the Forestry Commissioners are likely to wish to permit in the New Forest in the future.

The full Memorandum of Understanding is available for downloadOpens in a new window.


Regulations of the Court

Regulations Of The Verderers Of The New Forest Relating To The Courts Of Swainmote For The Dispatch Of Administrative And Judicial Business As Provided For In Section 24 Of The New Forest Act 1877 As Amended.

In accordance with long established tradition, in these Regulations a Court of Swainmote means a meeting of certain Verderers for the purposes of Section 8 of the New Forest Act 1949. Any other reference to the Court means a meeting for administrative purposes only.


October 2002.

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