New Forest
 - Explorers
New Forest
Explorers Guide
days out in the New Forest composite image
Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
***** 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 Reptile Centre

Adders can be seen at the New Forest Reptile Centre

A wide range of local and not so local reptiles can be seen at the New Forest Reptile Centre.

Situated close to the A35, 3.5 kilometres (2 miles) south-west of Lyndhurst, the New Forest Reptile Centre offers the potential for good close views of adders, grass snakes, smooth snakes, slow worms, sand lizards, common lizards and more.

All are housed outdoors in relatively natural conditions that largely replicate the reptiles' preferred habitat, conditions that often provide great opportunities to observe these otherwise elusive creatures at relatively close quarters.

As these animals hibernate in winter and at other seasons often shelter out of sight when it is cold or wet, visits to the Reptile Centre on warm, sunny days from April to October are likely to be the most rewarding, although to avoid 'over heating', reptiles may seek shade during periods of excessive warmth. (Adders, in particular, can, however, often be seen on warm, sunny days from late February).

Check out the Reptile Centre's opening arrangements here.

The New Forest Reptile Centre is also the location for seasonal exhibitions and events - such as a Date with Nature, an event that provides the opportunity to watch via a CCTV link birds of prey at and around their nests.

There is no entrance fee at the New Forest Reptile Centre, but a donation towards the cost of providing parking facilities is always appreciated.

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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