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Explore The New Forest
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.6/5)

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).

These notices are currently positioned around the New Forest.

GruffaloOh help! Oh no! It's a Gruffalo!

Take part in our self-led Gruffalo activity trails from 11 April to 30 September.  Click here for details of the trail which starts at Bolderwood. 

New Forest Essential Guide

Download the 2014 copy of the New Forest Essential Guide.

Events & Guided Walks

We run a number of ranger led activities and events throughout the year. From guided walks, to fungal forays and wild wednesdays at the New Forest Reptile Centre. 

For details of New Forest Events please click here. 

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.

Barbecues

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.

Camping

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.

Cycling

 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 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 023 8028 3141 or e-mail us at enquiries.southern@forestry.gsi.gov.uk .  Alternatively you will find lots of information about the New Forest throughout this site.

You may also wish to visit our Useful Information page, which has links to education providers and other organisations in the New Forest. 

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?

I was very disappointed to find the New Forest ice cream van at Bolderwood has been replaced by 'Mr Whippy". As a new forest resident and D of E assessor I am very proud to advertise the fantastic tourist opportunities the New Forest offers visitors. I question the wisdom of not supporting and celebrating high quality local businesses such as New Forest ice cream at such a prime tourist location. I am afraid I will no longer be calling into Bolderwood as I assess across the Forest for my usual fabulous new forest ice cream. Shame.

Gill Burtwell, 13/Jul/2014

Thank you for your email regarding Ice Cream sales in the New Forest. New Forest Ice Cream is still offered from some Forestry Commission sites across the New Forest. The contract for the sales of ice cream at Bolderwood, and in fact all of the New Forest Ice Cream sales sites were retendered at the end of last year, in line with our Procurement rules. This is done in an open and a fair a way as possible.

Forestry Commission Response

Is there not a small map with horse riding routes? My horse isn't a fan of os maps and we don't know the forest that well as I've only ever walked there

vanessa, 30/Jun/2014

Thank you for your comment. As horse riders benefit from open access across the NEw Forest we do not provide any maps for horse riding. However if your horse is not happy with large OS maps you could try using a copy of our cycle route map, which shows the main tracks through our main inclosure blocks. This map is smaller and can be folded in a convenient way. It can be obtained free of charge from many visitor centres, cycle shops or the Bolderwood information unit. There is also a copy available to download on our website.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

setley pond car park had locked gate we came 20 miles for this location no notice to say why or if it will ever open again

jef, 8/Jun/2014

Thank you for your comment regarding Setley Pond. The car park was closed at the last minute as maintenance works were taking place. It was unfortunately closed for longer than normal, as the ground needed longer to consolidate due to wet conditions. To save any future disappointment, you may wish to check our website before visiting as details of any car park closures can be found on our Working Site and Closures pages www.forestry.gov.uk/newforest-closures. Setley Pond car park is now open and we can only apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Forestry Commission Response
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Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at enquiries.southern@forestry.gsi.gov.uk if you have an enquiry or would like a reply to your comments.

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Last updated: 07/25/2014

Chalara ash dieback

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 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

Location

OS Grid ref: SU297082

Get directions

Contact

General Enquiries

023 8028 3141
enquiries.southern@­forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Opening & Parking

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 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