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Supporting families with children in New Milton, and building a brighter future for them, is the key vision of Ashley Family Hub, a collaboration between Ashley Infant School, Ashley Junior School, Arnewood School and Ashley Baptist Church. This key vision is underpinned by being welcoming to everyone, being open and honest, being respectful to them all, while building positive and lasting relationships with those families.

In recognition of the valuable work they do, New Milton Town Mayor, Cllr Alvin Reid, was proud to announce them as his nominated charity, having visited them in 2019 and meeting some of the families, listening to their own personal stories and pleased to hear of their positive outcomes. In fact, the Mayor learnt that support from the Hub has been life-changing to many families who attend.

During his term of office, the Mayor has promoted his Collect Coppers for Charity and the community of New Milton have responded enthusiastically, digging out the coppers from the bottom of their sofas and emptying their penny jars. A total of £550 in coins was found and counted. On top of this a further £1,300 has been raised for the Ashley Family Hub. Generous donations from guests who were due to attend the Mayor’s Charity Ball in March, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as fund-raising from the Annual Carol Service in December 2019 and the Annual Civic Service in February 2020.

In response to the Collect Coppers for Charity, the Mayor said: “Everyone gave a little, eventually it made a big difference to the local community. This initiative has now closed, please don’t drop off anymore ‘spare change’ to the Town Hall! I thank everyone for their collective contributions”. The Mayor presented the £1,850 cheque to Sarah Dibben, Headteacher of Ashley Infant School, and leader of the Ashley Family Hub, thanking them for their continued service to families in need and even more so for being there during the last few months of COVID-19 restrictions, and in the months to come. pictured – Cllr Alvin Reid, Donna Lenton and Sarah Dibben.

Picture of May and Ashley Hub staff receiving a Cheque from the Mayor

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant the Hub has had to look at new ways to support families. Social media has provided the link to news and ideas. Zoom has been used for virtual coffee mornings. And by working in partnership with Waitrose and Tesco, food parcels have been arranged for families in need.Sarah Dibben said: “We continue to explore how the Ashley Family Hub can re-open to support local families and we are currently finalising plans to re-open in a Covid-friendly way as soon as possible. In the meantime, families can contact us via our Facebook page or website for advice and support”. Sarah was pleased to report that even though families found lockdown challenging, they have been very resilient, and with the support of local schools and agencies, the community has done a great job.






New Milton Town Council is marking National Tree Week with the launch of its Plant a Tree Initiative and sees the planting of two trees in the town’s green spaces as part of the national celebration of trees.  Another 40 trees will be planted during the coming weeks. New Milton is already known for its tree-lined high street, the Weeping Willows along the stream at Caird Avenue, the enduring tree-lined Barton Court Road and Barton Court Avenue towards the cliff-top, the magnificent Oak trees on the Recreation Ground, as well as pockets of woodland and SINCs around the town that are environmentally protected.

Cllr Geoff Blunden, Chairman of the Amenities Committee, assisted two pupils from Ashley Infants School with the planting of an Elm tree at Ashley Recreation Ground.  This particular species of Elm is disease resistant; a tough tree that is a fast grower and quick to establish itself, being drought resistant and tolerant to periodical water-logged ground conditions which are sometimes experienced at Ashley Recreation Ground.

Cllr Blunden said   “I am delighted to help Evalyn and Aston from Ashley Infants School plant this rather large and impressive Elm tree which marks the launch of New Milton Town Council PLANT A TREE  INITIATIVE particularly as it is also National Tree Week.

This project gives the opportunity for residents, visitors and all to plant a tree on our open spaces for themselves or dedicated to others. We recognise that many residents do not have large gardens, or they live in rented accommodation or flats and are unable to plant trees on their own land.

I’m so pleased the scheme has been greeted with so much enthusiasm with over 40 trees to be planted during the next few weeks, we are aiming for 100 new trees this winter!  The trees are a variety of species and in addition many tree whips will also be planted.   A big thank you to all concerned.”

The Mayor will be planting a Hawthorn Paul’s Scarlet at Ballard Lake in honour of the New Milton Twinning Association and to acknowledge our special relationship with our twinned town of Canteleu in France, representatives from both organisations will attend this prestigious event.

The Plant a Tree Initiative is part of the Town Council’s Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change Action Plan.   Both policies are fundamental to the Town’s green credentials, as it seeks to reduce the adverse effects of climate change on the environment and improve carbon sequestration.  Clearly demonstrating a commitment to keeping our town green, enhancing our already special environment, and in turn ensuring our long-term well-being.

Trees are living, breathing monuments and as a precious natural asset are crucial in our fight against climate change.  The Town Council invite local residents and visitors to contribute to this initiative and plant a tree in New Milton.  Ten areas of green space and various native species of trees have been identified, providing overall wildlife benefit and improving biodiversity.   

Already the initiative has generated much interest from residents with popular choices of tree including Common Hornbeam, English Oak, Wild Cherry and Hawthorn.

The tree stock has been grown locally by Hilliers of Romsey and they come with passports which ensure that biosecurity measures have been met.

If you want to be happy for a year, plant a garden;

if you want to be happy for life, plant a tree.   English Proverb

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

Chinese Proverb



Aldi Logo

Aldi Stores through their agents have resubmitted a revised Planning Application to build a Store on land at Solent Industrial Estate, off Caird Avenue in New Milton.  This would indicate that they have once again rejected other sites in the Town including in the Town Centre, as being unsuitable for their business model and the way they operate their business.

artsis impression of the proposed Aldi superstore

You can view the details of the submission and make your own comments based on the information provided, by visiting the New Forest District Council Planning website at:-


and entering the keyword 20/11029 being the Case Number of this Application.

STOP PRESS - 22./10.20 : New Milton Town Council Planning Committe have unanimously recommended acceptance of the Planning Application to build an Aldi DIscount Food Store on land off Caird Avenue.  The Application now goes to New Forest District Council for their consideration later this year. 



The coronavirus has put paid to many a celebration this year, but the Community Centre in New Milton was able to find a way to celebrate its Diamond Anniversary.

 In September 1960 it was proposed that New Milton should have its own Community Centre and eventually it first occupied former Council offices in Station Road.

 After much fund-raising, the New Milton Community Association bought property in Osborne Road on which it was able to build a home of its own.

 On 1 October, a rose, Diamond Days, was planted in the Community Centre’s garden by Alvin Reid, the Mayor of New Milton, to celebrate all the hard work that the Centre’s volunteers have undertaken over 60 years, to provide social and recreational activities to the people of New Milton.

Marie Morgan (Chair) welcomes Mayor Alvin Reid

Mayor beside newly planted rose

Volunteer Genevieve Sagar who will tend the rose





The War Memorial on New Milton Recreation Ground is our focal point for Remembrance, particularly on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day, a place where the names of the brave Miltonians, who fought and fell during conflicts and wars, are inscribed for all to see on the base of the monument.

There are 223 names inscribed on the War Memorial.  They are not just names though. Their inscription is a reminder to us of the brave people who sacrificed their lives, 83 during WW1 and 140 in WW2.  We will remember them.

Picture of War Memorial lit at night

(photo credit to Michael Angus)

Thanks to the legacy of Reverend John Edward Kelsall, the War Memorial was commissioned from funds received by public subscription.  The Memorial was proudly unveiled on Sunday 26 September 1920, to a large congregation consisting of local residents, boy scouts, girl guides and local school children.  The Dedication Ceremony involved a large united choir singing hymns, local clergy giving dedication prayers, addressing the congregation saying that “the hearts of their brothers, whose names were on the cross, had often turned homeward in the day of battle and that the beautiful monument would prove that they were not forgotten here”.


Picture of New Milton War Memorial


The Town Council had hoped to host a celebration event this year at the War Memorial on its Centenary anniversary, but unfortunately due to the Covid pandemic and restrictions at this time we have postponed our celebration until next year.


In honour of the Centenary anniversary, the Amenities Committee have proposed to plant a Centenary Rose Garden which will see climbing roses such as Strawberry Hill and Bathsheba,  and shrub roses such as Golden Celebration and Summer Song planted under a pergola on the Recreation Ground in the South Western corner.


The full history of the War Memorial and the Recreation Ground has been recorded by Nick Saunders of the Milton Heritage Society and it has recently been printed in The New Milton Mail.

You can read the article here:

https://issuu.com/bartonbugle/docs/the_mail_september_2020_web__1_  (See pages 8 & 9)






In a massive logistical exercise, The Lions Club of New Milton has coordinated the provision of over 1,000 food deliveries to needy families with children, in New Milton and the local area over the past 22 weeks.

Working in conjunction with The New Forest Basics Bank, the schools who identified the recipients and New Milton Town Council who provided the transport; every Friday an average of 45 deliveries to those who needed the assistance most during these difficult times have been made. At the height of the pandemic, some 70 odd family deliveries were being made.

At the same time, an Appeal was made to its members, to local Town Councillors and with a donation from the Lions Club of Great Britain, it has been possible to present a Cheque for £5,050 to help the Basics Bank in its on-going day-to-day operations.

Picture of Cheque being presented to the New Forest Basics Bank

At a presentation made at the Basics Bank in Lymington on Friday 11th September, Oliver Stanley, the Chairman thanked all who had assisted in this project and especially Peter Bousfield, the Lions Club Welfare Chairman who ensured everything went as smoothly as possible. He also thanked those at the Basics Bank who had pulled out all the stops to ensure that their normal operations were maintained whilst this additional workload was handled efficiently.

Lions Club ‘Certificates of Appreciation’ were also handed to all those who had been directly involved, including Mark Jeffries, the Estates and Facilities Manager at New Milton Town Council and his team of 6 ground staff who made the deliveries.

Whilst presenting the cheque and certificates, Lions President Steve Merrifield commented “the Lions Club was so proud to have been involved in such an important project during the Covid-19 pandemic and to have been able to also make this financial contribution to the on-going work of the New Forest Basics Bank.  It is at times like these that we need groups to come together to help those less fortunate than most of us. It just shows what can be achieved if the community works together with a common goal’

The Lions Club of New Milton which has 26 members, is part of the world’s largest service organisation with more than 1.4 million members working in over 200 countries around the world. Lions President Steve Merrifield further commented “Lions Clubs try to respond to local needs as well as wider national and worldwide requirements, to work effectively and professionally, to make a difference and importantly, at the same time to have fun.  This was a good example of how we work – and hopefully might encourage others to come and join us.”