Forestry Commission logo
New Forest Slide New Forest Slide New Forest Slide New Forest Slide

Explore The New Forest
(Average user rating: 4 unrated 3.3/5)

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.

See the starsStargazing in the forest

Experience stars in the night sky like never before when visiting The New Forest this winter. Join our guided Stargazing walk at Blackwater Arboretum, at 10am Tuesday 21st February, starting at Blackwater car park. Try our family-friendly "Why stars matter" trail from 18th-26th February to bring the night sky to life. The trail starts at Bolderwood car park and picnic area SU242086.

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 latest copy of the New Forest Essential Guide (7690kb)

Page 2 of the guide features a survey about the publication which can be found here:

Survey prize Terms and Conditions:

The prize is a four night midweek or a three night weekend break in a two bedroom Silver Birch cabin.  The prize can be taken any time from 12th January 2018 until 30th June 2018, subject to availability (excluding Bank Holidays and School holidays). The prize is valid for use at Blackwood Forest only. The prize is non-transferable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.  The prize can only be used against one booking. The winner is responsible for transport to and from their chosen location. The break is on a self-catering basis; food, travel, activities, and any other additional costs associated with the break are not covered by this prize. No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize

Survey closing date is 31 October 2017


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?

4 Stars 4 Stars

Please refurbish the disabled parking signs at Hatchet Pond, and other car parks, as the are being ignored by non-disabled, they are worn out/less visible. Thank you

Janet, 19/Apr/2017

Thank you for your comment. It has been passed to our Recreation Manager.

Forestry Commission Response
1 Star 1 Star

Scruffy uneven rough gravel car parks now with little lockable gates to keep us out. It gets worse and worse!

Lived in Bournemouth all of my life. The Forest used to be a great free place to visit and set up a picnic near the car before you parasites took over.

Barry Drake, 27/Mar/2017

When we bought our Christmas tree last year at New Park in the New Forest, free conifer seedlings were being given out with purchases. Could you tell me what species (presumably of Christmas trees) the seedlings are?

Jane Cade, 13/Mar/2017

Thank you for your question. The free saplings were Spruce.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

Please email us at if you have an enquiry, a complaint or would like a personal reply to your comments.

Email addresses will not be shown

Last updated: 6th April 2017

Help us take care of your forest

Get the latest news, information & offers

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

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.