A HAMPSHIRE charity has joined the war on global warming - by unveiling plans to build a new facility called Fort Climate Change.

The Countryside Education Trust is seeking consent for a teaching and exhibition centre at its main site at Home Farm in Palace Lane, Beaulieu.

The proposed new building will be used to educate people about climate change and its impact on the New Forest.

Plans have been submitted to the Lymington-based New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

The application says: "The Trust has undertaken 18 months of research to find ways to enable schools and community groups to better understand issues around climate change.

"Research shows that people engage more fully in, and are more likely to take action about, issues affecting their local area.

"There will not be higher traffic activity on the site as groups will be pre-booked and schools will arrive by bus or minibus as they always have.

"The existing car park will be overhauled to enable more organised and bike-racks installed to encourage people to avoid using cars if they can."

The application describes Fort Climate Change as fit for purpose, sensitively designed and modest in scale.

It adds: "The building is orientated south/southeast, with glazed doors to maximise solar gain in the winter and a roof overhang to provide solar shading in the summer.

"The rooflights and large windows will provide a high level of natural light, minimising the need for artificial lighting."

Beaulieu Parish Council is supporting the scheme, describing it as an "imaginative project".

In a letter to the NPA it says: "As this is to replace an existing classroom we do not think there will be an increase in activity.

"We feel this building is located at a sufficient distance from any listed buildings as to have little impact."

Lord Montagu mentioned Fort Climate Change in his annual speech, which he normally delivers at the Beaulieu Estate Dinner. His latest speech was posted online because of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "This new facility, which is the brainchild of local philanthropist Ted Fort, will be dedicated to informing people about climate change.

"The charity is also planning to start rural courses and an after-school club Beaulieu School children starting, we hope, in the summer term."