New Forest
 - Explorers
New Forest
Explorers Guide
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Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
***** Coronavirus - for information about New Forest access restrictions and related matters, check out the Forestry England website and the websites of the individual venues you wish to visit. *****

New Forest - 'no barbecues', please

No barbecues or fires are allowed in the New Forest.

Wildfires have the potential to completely devastate and destroy - as was seen in nearby Wareham Forest last year in a fire that blazed for 2 weeks that was believed to have been started by disposable BBQs. Help STOP it from happening here and keep the New Forest safe for everyone.

Most wildfires are caused by small fires in the open that spread, particularly during sustained periods of hot, dry weather. The careless actions of people not correctly respecting the countryside code could impact the environment for decades to come.

Please help protect this special landscape.

To help prevent dangerous forest fires, the New Forest is a no BBQ and fire zone - BBQs and campfires are not permitted in car parks or other areas of the Forest managed by Forestry England and all BBQ facilities have been removed from their sites. Protecting the New Forest from the risk of wildfires is everyone's responsibility.

What do I do if I see a fire or BBQ?

If you see a fire, get to a safe place and call 999 immediately.

To report a BBQ or other naked flame call 0300 067 4600 (24 hrs). The call handler will pass the details to the Forestry England Duty Officer.

What actions will be taken if it is found that people continue to use BBQs on the Forest? How will the rule be enforced?

All BBQ stands and facilities in the New Forest have been removed and highly visible signage has been placed at these and other locations across the Forest to make people aware of the ban. There are also 'no BBQ' signs at most car parks including at the entrances.

Last year, joint patrols supported by Forestry England, The New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service teams were carried out across the Forest. These particularly focussed on hotspots, at peak times and when the weather was good. On just one weekend during the summer these teams spoke to hundreds of people and put out over 60 BBQs. These joint patrols will continue to be carried out to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of, and observe, the ban.

Can I still use cooking facilities within a campervan in the Forest?

Disposable BBQs are not permitted anywhere on the New Forest Crown Lands and this includes use within or close to vehicles. Facilities within the campervan itself, such as inbuilt gas stoves, can be used for cooking but these must not extend outside of the vehicle. All waste materials must be taken away for disposal and not left on the Forest or within car parks.

Why are BBQs still allowed to be used at campsites in the heart of the New Forest?

Only BBQs and stoves that are raised off the ground can be used on official campsites within the heart of the New Forest - those operated by Camping in the Forest at Aldridge, Ashurst, Denny Wood, Hollands Wood, Holmsley, Longbeech, Ocknell, Roundhills, and Setthorns. These are managed and patrolled areas that have a series of fire measures in place, including metal containers for hot coals to ensure their correct and safe disposal, water points and fire-fighting equipment.

Disposable BBQs are not permitted at these locations in line with the rest of the New Forest Crown Lands. These campsites have Camping in the Forest staff on-site at all times and local staff who raise the profile of safety messages.

Further information

The Barbecue section of the Forestry England website has further information. Further information is also available by telephoning 0300 067 4601 (Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm).

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** New Forest ponies and other animals**
The New Forest
Commoners' ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during 2019 agisters attended 159 road traffic accidents involving these animals, a small but disappointing increase on the 154 accidents attended in 2018.

Sadly, 58 animals were killed - 35 ponies, 13 cows, 8 donkeys and 2 sheep, whilst a further 32 were injured - 3 pigs, 9 donkeys, 11 cows and 9 ponies.

(Forty-three accidents occurred in daylight, 15 at twilight and 101 in the dark. Twenty-seven accidents were not reported by the driver involved).

Here's just one horrific example - Three donkeys killed in collision with van at notorious New Forest blackspot (Advertiser and Times)
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley