Welcome to this New Forest Map and Guide. This an independent guide that gives you the lowdown on the New Forest. Browse through our pages for information on its history, customs, biodiversity and attractions. The New Forest Map (below) shows its location in the south west corner of Hampshire. The New Forest National Park is a unique landscape that covers an area of 220 square miles and contains no towns only villages and has been a National Park since 2005. It is situated in the south west corner of the county of Hampshire and is bordered by Southampton Water in the east and the River Avon to the west. It is home to around 5000 iconic New Forest ponies who roam freely across its unique landscape. The New Forest is not new and its not a forest – it was founded in 1079 by William the Conqueror (King William 1) when “forest” meant an area of land set aside for hunting by the King. He named it his Nova Foresta – his New Forest. Check out our 30-minute video entitled “A Year in the New Forest” to learn more about the Forest and see how it changes from season to season
For more images of the New Forest’s unique landscape and its wildlife, check out New Forest Nature Photography.
The New Forest is a unique landscape enjoy and please respect it.
RESPECT THE FOREST – FOLLOW THE NEW FOREST CODE
During 2020 there was unprecedented recreational pressure on the Forest. Unfortunately not all visitors respected its unique landscape and there was a major increase in antisocial activities which gave rise to some truly damaging impacts on the countryside including the massive fire which destroyed a large area of the neighbouring Wareham Forest caused by irresponsible use of BBQs. This irresponsible use of BBQs presents a major risk of wildfire with potentially devastating effects and in just one weekend alone last year Rangers working with the Fire Service extinguished over 60 unsafe BBQs. As a consequence, there will be a total ban on all BBQs anywhere within the New Forest perambulation boundary (see map below) during 2021 and Forestry England have removed BBQ facilities from all car parks. The past year also saw an increase in litter, which can harm the grazing animals which are so vital in shaping the landscape and maintaining rare Forest habitats. As a result of these issues, there will be increased patrols by Rangers supported by the Police and Fire Service.
It is hoped that by adopting these measures, it will improve the experience of the vast majority of visitors who come to enjoy the tranquility and unique qualities of the New Forest. The New Forest welcomes responsible visitors.
NEW FOREST MAP
“Perambulation” shown on the New Forest map below is an historic term for the boundary of the area governed by Forest law. It is defined in the New Forest Act 1964 and encompasses Crown land subject to common rights which is managed by Forestry England (formerly known as the Forestry Commission), plus privately owned land and manorial grounds. It also contains 22 miles of coastline along the Solent overlooking the Isle of Wight. The area within the perambulation makes up the heart of the New Forest – the area that most people come to visit. It attracts over 15 million day visitors each year. The National Park is one of the UK’s smallest and is surrounded by the three cities of Southampton, Winchester and Salisbury plus the large Bournemouth & Poole conurbation.
New Forest Map courtesy of New Forest National Park Authority