The following 30-minute New Forest video has been produced to accompany this Guide and will take you on a journey across the New Forest landscape as its scenery changes through winter, spring, summer and autumn. Along the way, you will learn about the Forest’s animals, history and customs.
The New Forest National Park covers 220 square miles and, with the exception of the Norfolk Broads, is the smallest National Park in the UK. The New Forest is one of the UK’s last extensive areas of semi-natural habitat and pastoral farming that owes its origins to management as a medieval royal hunting forest and the survival of a strong commoning system. Commoning in the New Forest became formalised in the late medieval period. This is one of the few remaining extensive systems of common rights operating in lowland Europe. It is the Commoners who own the ponies and cattle that roam freely through the area.
The New Forest is situated on a plateau of sands, gravels and clays that slopes gently to the coast of the Solent, bounded by the river valleys of the Avon to the west and the Test to the east. The Solent shoreline extends over 26 miles with extensive areas of mudflats, shingle and salt marsh, The unenclosed semi-natural woodlands, heathlands, mires (bogs) and grass lawns together form the area known as the ‘Open Forest’, interspersed with large areas of woodland. The Forest Inclosures were created at various times since the 17th century and are fenced to protect the growing timber from grazing stock. Many of the older broadleaved woodlands, older conifer plantations and specimen conifers are important landscape features and wildlife habitats.
This New Forest video takes in many of these features and more
The video is also available to view on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/249381738 ©Derek Tippetts