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Explore Hatchet Pond Car Park
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.3/5)

Hatchet Pond is the largest body of water within the Crown Lands of the New Forest, managed by the Forestry Commission.

Created in the 18th century to provide power for an iron mill, the pond today provides valuable habitats for wildlife as well as being a Hatchet pond. New Forestscenic backdrop for a picnic or wildlife watching.

Since the pond’s creation a wonderful array of wildlife now call the pond home, including over a third of all species of wetland plants found in the UK and around 100 species of freshwater insects and other invertebrates. These species thrive because of the unique chemistry of the water and soil. Today, the Pond is a very popular place used by locals and tourists alike, and a range of activities; families, dog walkers, horse riders and fishermen all enjoy use of the site.

The pond is an incredibly important site for both wildlife and people. However, there are concerns over its current condition.

A background paper on the condition of the pond has been produced and is available to download here

Natural England and the Forestry Commission therefore need to act to prevent the further decline of the pond’s wildlife and are working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Freshwater habitats Trust to prevent the further decline of the pond’s unique wildlife.

Footprint Ecology consultants have been commissioned to deliver a lake restoration management plan for Hatchet Pond and they recently met with local people to gather the views of those who value or visit the Pond. The closing date for feedback is 3 March 2018. You can also give your views by letter to: Fenella Lewin, Footprint Ecology, Forest Officer, Cold Harbour, Wareham, BH20 7PA or by email to:

Coarse Fishing

For more information on Coarse Fishing in the New Forest please click on the link above.

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

Do you know if you can swim in it??

Sam, 19/Jul/2018

Thank you for your question. Swimming is not permitted in Hatchet Pond or Little Hatchet or any forest pond. Hatchet Pond is a reservoir and holds a RAMSAR designation meaning it is a Wetland of International Importance. Swimming is also not permitted for health and safety reasons.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We visited yesterday and what a lovely place to visit. We managed to walk around the whole of the pond with my 80 year old mother! It was a bit of a challenge in some places but a lovely walk and the distance was deceiving. So take a drink with you.

Buttons, 26/Jun/2018

Can I paddle board ?

Laura, 27/May/2018

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately it is not permitted to paddleboard on any of the ponds on Forestry Commission land as it is in breach of the Forestry Commission byelaws. You may wish to contact New Forest Activities to find out if paddle boarding is permitted on Beaulieu River or if they know of any locations you can use.

Forestry Commission Response
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Last updated: 30th June 2018

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What's Here?

  • Walking
  • Barbeque
  • You can use raised portable barbecues at this site. Please refer to the Barbecues in the New Forest page for futher information. Disposable BBQs are not permitted at this site. Please use the special picnic tables at either Bolderwood or Blackwater if you wish to use a disposable BBQ
  • Fishing
  • Coarse fishing in the New Forest is available at Hatchet Pond. A Forestry Commission fishing permit is required along with a rod license. For more information on Fishing in the New Forest please click on the Coarse Fishing link.
  • Toliets
  • Toilets are situated in Hatchet Pond car park.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SU 369 017

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