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Explore The New Forest
(Average user rating: 3 unrated 3/5)

Covering 145 square miles the New Forest is a place of ancient history, fascinating wildlife and stunning beauty. Originally a royal hunting preserve, the thriving working forest that you see today has survived for nearly 1000 years.

Whether you live locally and want to know more about the area you live in, or you are coming to visit us from further afield, this website will tell you all you need to know about the cultural history, fascinating wildlife and stunning beauty of the New Forest.

Dog on lead close-upDog Health

Top tips for a healthy and enjoyable visit with your dog, plus the latest information regarding dog health issues such as Alabama Rot and Seasonal Canine Illness - click here (transfers you to the national Forestry Commission web site).


New Forest Essential Guide

Download the 2015 copy of the New Forest Essential Guide

Local News

The Forest Diary, published weekly in the New Forest Post, aims to encourage readers to get out and enjoy the forest, demonstrate sustainable forest management and introduce local Forestry Commission staff.


There a two barbecue sites available to hire at Anderwood and Wilverley. If you are planning on bringing your own barbecue to the New Forest or wish to hire one of our sites please view our barbecue pages.


For information on  where you can camp in the New Forest please visit our Useful Information page or click here.

Coarse Fishing

Coarse fishing is only permitted at Hatchet Pond and Little Hatchet. Click here for information on where to obtain your fishing permits.


 Exploring the forest by bike is the ideal way to discover the magnificent beauty and fascinating wildlife that can easily be missed by car.
For  information on cycling in the New Forest and the routes which start in Lyndhurst please visit our cycling in the New Forest pages where a copy of the Cycle Network map can be downloaded.

Educational and Work Experience Enquiries

  • If you are planning an educational visit to the New Forest and would like advice from a member of the Ranger team please contact us on 0300 067 4601 or e-mail us at  Alternatively you will find lots of information about the New Forest throughout this site.
  • You may also wish to visit our Learning and Education and  Useful Information pages, which has links to education providers and other organisations in the New Forest. 

  • We are not currently able to offer any work experience opportunites.

Horse Riding

The New Forest, Ringwood and Wareham Forests are wonderful places to go Horseriding. Please click here for further information on Forestry Commission riding permits. For details of  local riding stables please click here.

Waymarked Walks

 If you are looking for a set route to walk we have provided a number of way-marked walks from our favourite spots. For information on these walks please visit our Waymarked Walks page. 

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

I'm a bit concerned about the website because I came on here for school work and I don't think that I really know much more about the New Forest than I did before. I am interested but the website has been a waste of time and I would like to make this clear. I now have to look elsewhere and if you work and are going to do this website I truly think it needs to be of a better standard. 😴Not Impressed😴

ForestXDistrict, 10/Nov/2015

Thank you for your comments. We are sorry to hear you have had trouble navigating to the correct pages to find the information you need. I would recommend visiting the Learning Pages There are also some useful fact files specifically on the New Forest:

Forestry Commission Response
3 Stars 3 Stars

We visited the New Forest today to view the deer sanctuary feeding. We checked the feeding times, which stated every day between noon and 3:00pm. We arrived in plenty of time, only to be very disappointed that no ranger appeared, though we were lucky enough to see a herd of deer gather also seemingly expecting the event. The information centre was also closed. Perhaps a notice of when this is not going to happen could be posted on the outside of the centre for public information.

Anonymous, 13/Sep/2015

Thank you for your comment. Sorry you were disappointed visiting the Deer Sanctuary at Bolderwood. We will check the notice that is on the information centre because it should read now, between the end of the school summer holidays and the beginning of the school autumn holidays (Hampshire dates) the information centre remains closed. The deer feeding also stops at the end of the summer. We apologise if there was misleading information given at the centre and will change the notice up there. It might be useful to you to know that, even during the summer deer feeding season, the Forestry Commission Keeper cannot guarantee a time when feeding will take place and there may be days when the deer are not fed at all. We have found that feeding the deer to a routine is not actually good for them. However, we rely on the fact, as you have found, that the deer will still hang around the viewing platform anyway because they become accustomed to it and feel safe, so that visitors have a much better chance of observing them there than any other place in the forest. Thank you for providing the information. - New Forest Rangers

Forestry Commission Response

I would just like to know if Alabama rot is present around Hatchet pond.

Anonymous, 2/Jul/2015

Thank you for your question regarding Alabama Rot. I would recommend visiting the Dog health Pages on the Forestry Commission Website which includes the most up to date information about this disease. There have been reported cases throughout the country and therefore is not possible to advise if there are places “safer” than others to visit. Advice given by Anderson Moores Veterinary specialists is that this disease is still only affecting a very small proportion of dogs, and the best measure owners can take is to be vigilant to the signs, a link to which can be found on the website link above.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 3rd February 2016

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What's Here?

  • Forest drive
  • Travel along the Bolderwood Ornamental Drive and visit the deer viewing platform at Bolderwood to see if you can spot the Fallow deer. Or cross the A35 and travel down the Rhinefield Ornamental drive. Stop off at Blackwater car park to visit the Blackwater Arboretum or walk along the Tall Trees Trail.
  • Information
  • The Bolderwood information centre is open from Easter until October (during weekends and school holidays), staffed by knowledgable Forestry Commission Rangers and Volunteers.
  • Parking
  • The Forestry Commission provides 134 car parks across the New Forest. We kindly request that vehicles are parked in one of these. A copy of the New Forest Car Park map can be downloaded by clicking on the link under 'Related Documents'
  • Toliets
  • There are public toilets in the following Forestry Commission car parks; Anderwood, Blackwater, Bolderwood, Hatchet Pond, New Forest Reptile Centre, Wilverley Plain and Whitefield Moor.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SU297082

Get directions


General Enquiries

0300 067 4601

Opening & Parking

The Forestry Commission provides 134 car parks across the New Forest. We kindly request that vehicles are parked in one of these. A copy of the New Forest Car Park map can be downloaded by clicking on the link under 'Related Documents'

Related documents

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified