McDonald’s today opened a new restaurant at Picket Post, a renowned New Forest beauty spot. Critics say that the new drive through restaurant will leave the Forest covered in litter. While the fast food giant says that it will create local employment. The new take away and restaurant opens on the former site of the Little Chef which closed in 2011.
McDonald’s Opening Times: 05:00 – 23:00, 7 days a week
Picket Post has always had a colourful history. Encroached from the New Forest in the last quarter of the 18th Century. It’s extra parochial position made it a place where illegitimate babies could be cared for. It was also the site of an Inn which was forced to shut in 1890 and also a hotel which was burnt to the ground on Boxing Day 1960. Nowadays Picket Post is known for the Forest Commission car park which affords views out towards the south coast and also as somewhere to refuel on the busy A31 dual carriageway which crosses the New Forest. It is also the turn off to the village of Burley.
Today, a new restaurant opens on the east bound carriageway of the A31 in the New Forest. McDonald’s. The companies logo, “the golden arches” stands in marked contrast to the logo of the traditional English tea room which used to stand here at Picket Post. The Copper Kettle tea rooms were demolished to make way for the widening of the A31 in the late sixties.
Critics have said that the restaurant will leave the New Forest strewn with litter as people jettison it from their vehicles all the way up the A31 to Stoney Cross and the Rufus Stone. Which could even put the lives of the New Forest ponies in danger. McDonald’s will argue that it will create employment for the area. Let’s hope that some of the positions will be for litter pickers…
A sign of the times perhaps and another new chapter in the history of the New Forest. You could always argue that William the Conqueror created his Nova Foresta in 1079 as one massive fast food restaurant. The king’s deer and wild boar were very fast indeed. I wonder if McDonald’s will start selling New Forest venison at their new restaurant?