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back to article Lapland New Forest website suffers 'unusual technical problems'

The website of Lapland New Forest - the winter wonderland described in less than flattering terms by enraged punters who'd stumped £25-£30 for an unforgettable Yule experience - went off air earlier today amid reports that the attraction has been shut down. According to the BBC, Lapland New Forest is no more. Trading Standards …

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Anonymous Coward

Didn't anyone tell them?

When you're stuck in a hole, you're supposed to stop digging!

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They've officially croaked...

...and the statement on the web page is a corker!

"With my deepest regret and sincerest apology I am left with no option but to announce that I am forced to close the children's entertainment theme park "Lapland New Forest" for 2008 due ( I believe at the time of publishing ) to:

* Intentional organised crowd manipulation and event sabotage during and since our first trading weekend.

* The unscrupulous and inaccurate negative bias media broadcasts of both local and national press and television companies that contributed significantly to fuelling widespread public concern, frenzy and distraction since the 1st December 2008.

* What I believe to be a wholly illegal action by the credit merchant company called "Streamline" of seizing /withdrawing all funds without notice from the Lapland New Forest Ltd bank account leaving us completely unable to trade...."

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Go

So has anyone come across a happy punter?

Surely if this "attraction" is sooooo good there must be a horde of happy customers ready to leap to its defense?

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Was it run by...

...eddie grundy?

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It now says

"With my deepest regret and sincerest apology I am left with no option but to announce that I am forced to close the children's entertainment theme park "Lapland New Forest" for 2008 due ( I believe at the time of publishing ) to:

* Intentional organised crowd manipulation and event sabotage during and since our first trading weekend.

* The unscrupulous and inaccurate negative bias media broadcasts of both local and national press and television companies that contributed significantly to fuelling widespread public concern, frenzy and distraction since the 1st December 2008.

* What I believe to be a wholly illegal action by the credit merchant company called "Streamline" of seizing /withdrawing all funds without notice from the Lapland New Forest Ltd bank account leaving us completely unable to trade.

For all people wishing to claim financial reimbursement I can only advise ( at the time of writing ) that you return to our website for further information on this important matter."

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Happy

Punters and Lapland-land both id-yots

I'm not sure who's more to blame more in this fiasco....the retards to paid 30 quid a ticket to go view this kind of tat or the opportunist who thought he'd get away with coining the lap-tards out of their dosh.

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Anonymous Coward

And now its all over

It looks like their credit card processor have issued a few chargebacks (surely from disgruntled customers) so Lapland New Forest really is no more for this year.

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Happy

The park is closed anyway

The website may have problems, but that's the least of their worries as they closed the actual park site permanently today.

A happy little elf

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Stop

Strange website and other dodgy stuff.

Well its up and running again, however all the links seem to go to the same page. I like the Javascript snow even if it was stolen from "Copright 2003 Peter Gehrig".

I remember a similar experience as a kid when I went to a place in wales years ago. It was a fairly tale themed park, in reality a circus tent with people in rubbish costumes miming to music on a PA system. Outside was a palm reader in a grubby caravan reading palms for "Five quid per hand, with a special offer of both hands for ten quid"

My highlight of the day, well it was the only thing to do there was a crazy golf course, however they had put it up in a hurry and the concrete had sunk inwards towards the ball holes, so whichever way you hit the ball it would always follow the slope down into the hole.

"Ooh, I got a hole in one", "Ooh, another one","Umm, again","Umm, guess what?" I think we all finished equal scoring in the end, very bored.

Just thought I would share that pointless little story with ya.

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Flame

Do the maths!

If trading standards have received 2000 complaints then at least that many adults must have stumped up assuming no children complained. It's probably also a fair conclusion that virtually all the adults that went took at least one child. So that's 4000 visitors minimum. If ticket prices are 25 to 30 quid (lets call it £27.50) then the organisers have taken well over £100K just from the people who complained. And that's assuming that every single family was one adult, one child.

In all likelihood, they've probably raked in a vast six figure sum so I'm not exactly surprised they've shut up shop and gone to ground. Job done, I suspect! Christmas in Belize, perhaps?

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Park has closed

According to Dorset council they have finally closed

http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=390730

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Paris Hilton

Definately Closed!

Official Announcement: 4th December 2008

With my deepest regret and sincerest apology I am left with no option but to announce that I am forced to close the children's entertainment theme park "Lapland New Forest" for 2008 due ( I believe at the time of publishing ) to:

Intentional organised crowd manipulation and event sabotage during and since our first trading weekend.

The unscrupulous and inaccurate negative bias media broadcasts of both local and national press and television companies that contributed significantly to fuelling widespread public concern, frenzy and distraction since the 1st December 2008.

What I believe to be a wholly illegal action by the credit merchant company called "Streamline" of seizing /withdrawing all funds without notice from the Lapland New Forest Ltd bank account leaving us completely unable to trade.

For all people wishing to claim financial reimbursement I can only advise ( at the time of writing ) that you return to our website for further information on this important matter.

Both I and all of the Lapland New Forest Team have had every intention of both continuing and continuing to enhance our children's event ... we have all put many months of hard planning, endeavour and finance into the Christmas theme park ... our wonderful venture and advertising campaign proved to be highly popular and many of our visitors did have a great day with us!

We are all deeply upset at the outrageous lies, slander, accusations, violent threats and lack of official support we have endured and I have every intention of pursuing all matters to the full extent of the law.

From myself and every member of the Lapland New Forest Team to ALL of our valued customers and incredible team players that contributed so much to our honourable enterprise - we look forward to reaching a clear and satisfactory conclusion as soon as is possble.

Victor Mears

Director of Lapland New Forest Ltd.

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dodgy background?

It's not entirely unexpected, when it's been set up by a convicted fraudster who made a fortune from market stalls.

it looks like one big market stall.

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Have You Checked Out Their Site Today?

They're rolling up the sidewalks.

You killed Santa! You bastards!

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Anonymous Coward

Population is learning from its "representatives"

Not any different from Nu Labour explaining that no, they have not heard anything about any raid on any MP. Guess population is following its representatives in the art of spin and fraud.

C'mon reg, staff, where is our bl**dy Brown and Tony icons. With horns please.

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Shame On Them

"they physically attacked Santa's little helpers."

Love it ! Imagine the scene, incensed (not not unreasonably) by having paid twenty five quid a head to stand in a muddy field full of dead reindeer looking a billboard, dad starts laying out to the elves. Kids screaming, dad makes his way towards Santa "And as for you, you fat bastard...", accompanied by cries from the missus "Leave 'im darren. he's not werf it! You can't punch santa you muppet!" "I Cahn' 'elp it Shaz, 'es ruined it for ahh Tiff'ny !"

It's like Eastenders writ large.

They deserve everything they get, spoiling Christmas for the kiddies. I hope someone hacked their server. Bastards.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Punters and Lapland-land both id-yots

I wouldn't say they were retards, actually. The original site made it look like the kind of Christmas attraction that goes down great with families (there's another one called Lapland UK which is now covered in notices pointing out that it's got nothing to do with this clusterfuck). It was full of stock photos and false assurances, and people naively went for it, but then people buy tickets for things all the time on trust that it's not going to be a rip-off of one sort of another. So you can't really have a pop at them - the thing only just opened this year so it's not like they had anything to refer to, either.

It did look especially bad from people's pics with most of the fake snow washed away by rain, but it was pretty obvious that everything else that *was* within the organisers' control was badly run and half-arsed and taking the piss - and that statement about the organised disruption and the meeja bias is a hoot. I've seen forums all over the place with pages and pages of sad frustrated people complaining (that money saving one has 20-odd pages' worth). The media just picked up on it because the scale of the complaints was so huge.

I just hope the huskies (cross-breeds, by the look of them, probably with German Shepherds) and reindeer and all are OK. Also, the poor hapless elves who got punched in the face by punters. Yeah, I'd be pretty mad if I'd wasted money and had crying children bewildered by the sight of Santa having a sneaky fag, but I wouldn't ram my buggy into some minimum-wage teenager's shin for it.

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Bronze badge

Boo hoo Victor

"We are all deeply upset at the outrageous lies, slander, accusations, violent threats and lack of official support we have endured and I have every intention of pursuing all matters to the full extent of the law."

Look forward to the entertainment over that then! lol.

The beeb mentioned a friend of Victor was concerned he'll lose his house over this. Oh well, maybe he'll qualify for NuLabour's deferred interest mortgage thing now!.

Though on a serious note, how many of us have as kids been to some really "naff" attractions? I know I have. Though I doubt any of them cost £25 a head. More like £2 which I guess was a cheap price to occupy time on a dull day during the summer holidays.

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Joe

Website stuff amiss

Strangely, the website isn't working 100% now...

www.laplandnewforest.co.uk points to a UK-Reg holding page, whereas laplandnewforest.co.uk (without the www) points to the site!

I must say I've chortled merrily at some of the photos - especially the nativity scene - though I dare say it was much less funny to those who visited.

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Unhappy

The parks original use...

According to one comment from a local on another website, the park area was originally a motorcross / banger racing venue.

Says all you need to know about the quality.

Some people (I'm looking at you Henry Mears) are just bastards, they really are.

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Paris Hilton

Lapland?

Must confess, when I first heard about this place the name 'Lapland' brought to mind the distinctly sleazier kind-of Soho "Gentleman's Club" to which we traditionally abandoned naiive visiting Soviet diplomats back in the late 1980s (having previously ensured that they were - in the terminology of the time - 'somewhat tired and emotional').

Mention of huskies reindeer and donkeys only reinforced the vision.

Now I gather this has become some kind of children's entertainment ! Oh how times have changed.

Ms. Hilton: because I'm sure she would be familiar with such places.

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Here's the snow

http://www.hypergurl.com/snowmaker.html

P.

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Anonymous Coward

From Their Announcement (You Need a "Screw" Icon)

>>> * What I believe to be a wholly illegal action by the credit merchant company called "Streamline" of seizing /withdrawing all funds without notice from the Lapland New Forest Ltd bank account leaving us completely unable to trade.

For all people wishing to claim financial reimbursement I can only advise ( at the time of writing ) that you return to our website for further information on this important matter.<<<

Translation:

"You're screwed, and we're gonna blame it on someone else! BWUUHHAAAHAAAHaaaaa..."

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Stop

Failbook

Oh come on, do people really think they can make a difference by posting their complaints on failbook? Waste of time and energy that could have been used for effective complaints.

As for the actual park, seems like a bloody rip off and I hope everyone who booked gets at least a refund if not some compensation and that the animals are OK.

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Stop

@ Sarah Bee re. Santa smoking

"crying children bewildered by the sight of Santa having a sneaky fag"

Everyone knows Santa smokes a pipe, and I quote Clement Moore;

"The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;"

I guess sometimes Santa just doesn't have time to pack a pipe and was sneaking a quick cigarette to save some time.

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Anonymous Coward

'tis the season to get shafted

There's certainly plenty of quick-buckery around and you don't have to go to the sticks to find it. Just about every corner of London seems to have an xmas ice-rink these days, some better than others - Kew and Somerset house are particulalrly well done and set against magnificent backdrops. But it's the one at the Tower that seems to me the close relative of the New Forest lapland, sounding far better on the press releases than it deserves.

An ice-rink with the Tower of London as a backdrop sounds wonderful, but actually means it's set in the (drained) moat, from which you can see little but a close up view of high stone walls on two sides. The ice only gets a quick hose down between sessions, leaving it hacked up and incredibly bumpy - just as well the place is so poorly lit, although that doesn't help navigating the mudbath the area around the rink becomes after a few days. It's a total shafting given that the price is identical to every other "premium" London winter rink.

Even more bizarre was the nearby 'hospitality suite' for corporate events that was there in past years. The usual totally enclosed mix of tent and plastic portcabin was even further round the muddy moat than the ice rink - ideal for the shiny-shoed and stilletto-heeled guests. Presumably it must have been pitched as a 'prestigious' location for company christmas dos, suggesting a touch of class to the punters. I'm not sure there'd be any brown nosing points in having booked the works do in a plastic tent down a dark, muddy path just because it was within spitting distance of the Tower.

Doutless it all kept 'er Maj in After Eights for the season.

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Coat

@ Jonathan Dade

Of course there are absolute hordes of satisfied customers!

They're in the same place as all the hordes of non-smokers who never used to go to pubs for fear of breathing in someone else's fag smoke, but are now such enthusiastic drinkers that six new pubs have to open each week to cater for the increase in demand.

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Not surprising

I live about five miles from the place. It's based on a site called Matchams Leisure Park, you can find it on Google Earth if you do a search - "Matchams, Ringwood, UK".

The has also been the home to a market, race track, off-road bike tracks, go-karts, and all other manner of activities that can be done in dirt and mud.

The whole site is a joke, has been for years. They've done nothing more than take as much money as they can whilst spending as little as possible. It took several years to lay proper paths within the market, and that was only because they got fed up with dragging market shoppers out of the mud with a crane.

We won't be sorry to see it go, we're only sad that so many people got ripped-off by this place - again.

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Paris Hilton

@ Sarah Bee

"Yeah, I'd be pretty mad if I'd wasted money and had crying children bewildered by the sight of Santa having a sneaky fag, but I wouldn't ram my buggy into some minimum-wage teenager's shin for it."

To be honest, I had pictured you more as the one laying out Santa with a right cross.

I've not got to see the wonders of this place yet. Any chance of one of El Reg's famous reconstructions?

Paris, because pictures of her lapland made the news as well

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Anonymous Coward

Good ol' Matchams...

The place has always been bloody scruffy but I thought they would have put more effort into transforming the place into the wonderland promised for £30 a head!

My local radio station's breakfast show visited the place and posted a video on their website http://www.galaxysouthcoast.co.uk/ho-ho-no-4608

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ROFL - Rip Off Britain, episode 4,563,890,999

[QUOTE]Important Notice: We very much looked forward to displaying an official statement from Dorest Trading Standards on our website. Unfortunately an official statement was only approved for press release and our request to publish information on this web page was declined. Therefore, we can only advise that any reader who wishes to know the accurate report from Dorset Trading Standards contacts them directly or via Consumer Direct.

Every adjustment requested by Dorest Trading Standards for our website advertising has been made - the graphic text now reads: "Avenue of Light" / "Interest activity Wood Cabins" / "Market Stalls" / and removal of the word "covered" when used in conjunction with the word "snow", which may have implied to some people that the entire theme park (underfoot) was completely covered with (fake) snow.

Additionally, an official Lapland New Forest positive comment/complaints web form or similar will be available soon.

Also, for anyone who felt the need to contact the RSPCA for whatever reason about any of the beautiful animals at our theme park - please contact them directly for their official report(s).[ENDQUOTE]

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Unhappy

Real Lapland...(Rovaniemi, Arctic Circle)

For me is only 2 hours away by car. Even there, when my (UK) kids went, they caught the *real* Santa - ok, Joulupukki - smoking a fag and reading the paper...(but I heard the bloke speaking Finnish, English German and Japanese FFS!!)

Nowt different, then. But this is in Finland, not fuc*king mudsville, south UK. And we've still got more snow than the UK - and will have till April.

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Job Ad at the bottom!

What got me was this statement at the bottom!!

Left me speechless...

"Work Wanted: Errrr ... don't snarl ... smile ... the designer of this highly successful marketing campaign is looking for the next project ... maybe something less headline.

Does anyone require an effective marketing campaign: websites / artwork / seo etc with guru conversion %?

PLEASE don't contact me about your refunds or complaints ... it has nothing to do with me and is not my decision ... I'm just working my butt off day & night through the craziness and so sad misery to provide every one of you with accurate information and a clear communication means for the sheer love and honour of it.

If you wish to communicate - only nice genuine relevant emails get past my junk filter here. Thank you.

BE Happy."

Then there was this statement, apparently from the photographer (it seems to suggest that that the photos were taken by an amateur photographer):

"whilst granting permission for any viewer of this web page to display the photographs without alteration under any circumstance on any public blog associated with the Lapland New Forest event or Lapland New Forest Ltd only"

Now, if I was some punter allowing the place to use my photos I wouldn't be worrying about restrictions on the use of the photos like that....

All the words on the site are bizarre.....it feels like it is a mixture of half-lies & weasel words. Just reading it makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable - weird.

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IT Angle

Looking for job

I loved this bit at the bottom of the website

Work Wanted: Errrr ... don't snarl ... smile ... the designer of this highly successful marketing campaign is looking for the next project ... maybe something less headline.

Does anyone require an effective marketing campaign: websites / artwork / seo etc with guru conversion %?

PLEASE don't contact me about your refunds or complaints ... it has nothing to do with me and is not my decision ... I'm just working my butt off day & night through the craziness and so sad misery to provide every one of you with accurate information and a clear communication means for the sheer love and honour of it.

If you wish to communicate - only nice genuine relevant emails get past my junk filter here. Thank you.

BE Happy.

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"It's You that Makes It Beautiful"

too many ugly people must have turned up

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@Joe - You tipped them off

"whereas laplandnewforest.co.uk (without the www) points to the site!"

No, that now redirects to the holding page too. Clean getaway...

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Anonymous Coward

If you read right down their page at

laplandnewforest.co.uk you get to:

----------------

Work Wanted: Errrr ... don't snarl ... smile ... the designer of this highly successful marketing campaign is looking for the next project ... maybe something less headline.

Does anyone require an effective marketing campaign: websites / artwork / seo etc with guru conversion %?

....

----------------

Posted AC 'cos I don't want to be confused with the person who designed the page...

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@mike - Getting confused with the old Santa.

The NuLab Santa, wears red, exercises at the gym and eats healthy, even if he looks a bit scrawny to us.

He does not smoke or drink, especially when driving a reindeer.

And he has nothing to do with children as he has not been cleared.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

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Slow news day

Take it there was someone in the BBC who got ripped off? It's hardy deserved the national news coverage it's achieved. If this was an 'attraction' in Leeds, Newcastle or Aberdeen, I bet it wouldn't have featured so much. Surely by now everyone knows the rip-off mentality of the south east of England.

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Happy

@mike - re: santa's pipe

FYI - from Arlo Guthrie

"Santa Clause has a red suit

He's a communist

And a beard, and long hair

Must be a pacifist

What's in the pipe that he's smoking?"

Get thee behind me ,Santa!"

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Happy

Come Back Mister Blobby!

Yay!! Let's have more of this, put all these crap outfits out of business!!!

As for the post about it had to be someone at the BBC who got ripped off at Lapland Bournemouth otherwise it wouldn't have merited national coverage. . . the cynicism's admirable but misplaced.

Back in the summer of '93 -- well, if there was a summer -- we went to CRINKLY BOTTOM! In. . . MORECAMBE!

The local council had teamed up with Noel Who He? Edmonds to open the UK's first Mr Blobby Theme Park.

Our 11-year-old was desperate to see his hero (Blobby, not Edwards) so we went.

And it was Godawful: like Berlin, during the Air Lift.

So we contacted t'national Press and the Daily Express ran a full-page about how Godawful it was -- this, incidentally, being the last time the Daily Express ever undertook any journalism of any kind -- and the "theme park" closed down two months later and Council heads rolled and the District Auditor got involved and local ratepayers revolted and, and. . .

IT WUZ GREAT!

More people should get more things closed.

Like Microsoft.

As for the "author" of the Lapland website text, it's an inarticulate moron trying to sound self-important and failing dismally.

Gordon Brown, then.

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Coat

The Obvious Joke:-

Person 1) You know that Lapland, in Dorset?

Person 2) No I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

If you don't find that funny, you must be in denial - I'll throw you a lifejacket.

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