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New Forest National Park
Hampshire, England

Details for New Forest National Park

Covering an area of approximately 571 kilometres, the New Forest National Park is an expanse of unenclosed pasture land, heathland, forest and coast in the south east of England. Spanning across several English counties the National Park offers a tapestry of diverse landscapes and pretty historic villages and towns.

Created by William the Conqueror, in 1079, it was originally designated as a hunting ground for the nobility to pursue the abundant deer and wild boar which inhabited the area.   Restrictions under the Forest Law of the times prevented the peasantry from enclosing the land, fencing their crops or hunting the King's game.  These laws resulted in a protected area of land which sheltered the landscape and the wildlife from commercial exploitation for several centuries.

The forest contains a mixture of native British trees and bushes including the oak, beech and holly.  It is still a working forest and you can see plantations of new trees being cultivated.  Many feel the forest is a place of tranquillity and sensitivity against the setting of the backcloth of the trees.  The coastal landscape includes open water, extensive mudflats and sand marshes and tidal estuaries.  The constantly changing shoreline harbours a rich cultural history of ship-building, fishing, trade, smuggling and warfare.

Walking is a wonderful way to experience the New Forest National Park close up.  There is the opportunity to walk across unenclosed land with accessible walks as well as long distance trails such as the Solent Way, the Avon Valley Path and the Castleman Trail which follows the old line of the old Southampton to Dorchester railway.

Horse riding and pony trekking are central to the cultural heritage of the New Forest and there...


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