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Living in the New Forest

The New Forest is unique.

Famous for its amazing wildlife, one of the largest areas of heathland in Europe, and some of the oldest trees in the country, it's a place of rare and stunning beauty.

But more than this, it's a place of thriving towns and villages, communities where people live, learn and work, and we're responsible for everything from open spaces, play areas and woodland to recycling, parking and emergency planning. 

The district's growing economy is a reflection of the ambition and hard work of the people who live here. 

It's our vision to secure a vibrant and prosperous New Forest into the future, guided by the people we serve and working in partnership with others.

Working in the New Forest

As one of the largest districts in the country, with 6 towns and a close relationship with neighbouring conurbations, the New Forest provides a supportive environment in which everyone who works for us can help drive our aims.

All our employees make a valuable contribution to the work we do, and that's why we encourage a trusting and open culture where everyone is supported and respected, where ideas are actively sought, and self-development is promoted.

Employee wellbeing

We are an inclusive and supportive work environment that enables everyone to do their job to the best of their ability.

We have an assistance programme including an employee portal and telephone line which offers free, instant access to financial, legal, and emotional support.

This includes up to 6 counselling sessions a year.

We also have further wellbeing support, including action plans to support mental health, wellbeing walks, and wellbeing champions.

We will make workplace adjustments where necessary for health reasons.

Our culture

We continuously strive to help people do their best by valuing their contributions and listening to what they've got to say about the work they do and by providing a healthy work environment with positive management support and encouragement for all our employees.

We have an inclusive culture, everyone is welcome and diversity is celebrated.

Future New Forest

Our vision for change is Investing in our people and services to meet customer needs, protecting our finances and embedding sustainability to preserve our unique place by transforming tomorrow, together.


Our values have been refreshed through staff engagement, these are:


We learn from what we and others do well and where we need to improve, we support staff development and organisational growth


We show kindness, actively looking to understand people's different needs, and ensure our services are responsive.


We are ambitious for our people and our place, embracing innovation and best practice.


We act fairly, honestly, and openly in all we do.


We are committed to actively supporting good employee relations and have in place collective arrangements for employee consultation and bargaining.

At present we formally recognise 3 trade unions; UNITE, GMB and UNISON.

Personal development

We are committed to invest in our people to ensure we have the skills, experience and equipment that we need, and development for all employees.

We offer a range of eLearning modules for all staff to complete, complemented by classroom learning.

Soon we'll be implementing a dedicated Learning Management System which will complement our learning culture and offer a wide variety of learning material tailored to roles and we are rolling out a leadership development programme too.

We utilise apprenticeship training where appropriate, for new apprentices and trainee roles, as well as a training route for our existing employees.

We will also pay professional subscription fees if they are a required part of your role.

Appraisal, performance reviews

In addition to regular catch ups with your manager through 1-to-1 meetings or toolbox talks, all employees have a formal annual performance review with their line manager.

This process is designed to agree objectives for the coming year, review the previous year and discuss performance and learning and development needs.

Employee survey results

Here's some of the key findings from our employees:

  • Over 89% agreed or strongly agreed that they understood clearly what was expected of them.
  • Over 87% felt that in their team, people helped and supported each other
  • And over 82% felt that they knew where to get support at work if they felt their mental wellbeing was being impacted.

We can also see that there are other areas that we still need to understand more about and develop. For example:

  • 39.6% were either neutral or disagreed that they had clear personal objectives that supported their career development
  • 36.4% were either neutral or disagreed that their manager gave them regular feedback on how they are doing
  • 45.7% were either neutral or disagreed that they had confidence in the decisions that senior management make

Work has started on interpreting and understanding the invaluable detailed insight data that this exercise has provided.  We've developed key themes and we have an Employee Survey Staff Engagement group to work on these and report back to our Executive Team.

Our stories

Learn what it's like to work for us by reading some of our staff profiles.


Mark is a GIS and Graphics Coordinator (Planning Services) at New Forest District Council. His role involves creating, gathering, and editing information about the district, and making sure it's communicated as clearly as possible.

Read Mark's story.


Stephen is a Senior Planning Officer at New Forest District Council. His role involves helping to deliver 1,100 new houses in Fordingbridge, as well as supporting other housing applications throughout the district.  

Read Stephen's story.


Harry is a Streetscene Area Supervisor at New Forest District Council. He oversees 40 full time staff across three depots in Lymington, Claymeadow, and Ringwood, and the team help to deliver a street cleaning service 7 days a week across the New Forest.

Read Harry's story.


Vince is a Workshop Supervisor at New Forest District Council. He supervises a team of mechanics who are responsible for making sure our vehicles and equipment are in a safe and roadworthy condition.

Read Vince's story.


Dave is a waste and recycling supervisor at New Forest District Council. He's helping to keep the streets clean and tidy in the New Forest.

Read Dave's story.


Catherine works as an occupational therapist for our housing team. She helps our tenants with disabilities live more independently.

Read Catherine's story


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