New Forest
 - Explorers
     Guide
New Forest
Explorers Guide
Ashurst station
Pony near Hampton Ridge
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
For comprehensive information about the New Forest National Park
MENU

New Forest history in the landscape - an introduction

Enjoy the great outdoors! The New Forest is a marvellous outdoor museum available for all who care to take a look.

Almost wherever one walks, drives or rides in the New Forest, the landscape illustrates well the impact of man's activities over the past 3,500, or so, years. Some of the feaures - the shapes in the landscape - are really difficult to miss, whilst others sometimes take a bit of finding. But whatever your level of interest, visits to the New Forest will always be enhanced by a little knowledge of what has gone before.

Find out more

Ashley Walk Bombing Range - a reminder of deadly business in World War Two
Bee Gardens - wild places for hives and honey
Bishop's Dyke - a simple, centuries old earthen bank and ditch that winds around a 7.25 kilometre (4½ mile) serpentine course
Bramshaw Telegraph - a Napoleonic signalling station
Bronze Age barrows (butts) - burial places from times long gone
Browse lines - created and maintained by deer and commoners' stock
Buckland Rings - an Iron Age hill fort near Lymington
Canadian Memorial - a simple wooden Cross in memory of war-time sacrifices
Cut Walk - a short-cut for use by the gentry
Eyeworth Pond and the Schultze Gunpowder Factory - the man-made pond is now a beautiful landscape feature
Ice Houses - reminders of how ice was stored in the days before fridges were available
Iron Age hill forts - securely placed on high
Irons Well - its healing qualities brought visitors from afar
The Park Pale and Lyndhurst Old Park - the remains of a medieval deer park
Pollard trees and Coppice trees - woodland management through the ages
Portuguese Fireplace - left by wartime helpers in the woods
Re-seeded grasslands - open spaces cropped in times of trouble
Royal Hunting Lodges and Church 'place' names - humble earthwork remains closely associated with church 'place' names
Rufus Stone - a memorial to Red Rufus
Second World War airfields - an introduction
Stag Parks - a brief history
Stoney Cross Airfield - a detailed look at the airfield
Turnpike milestones and toll roads - tell-tale reminders of the early days of rapid transport
Volunteer rifle ranges and the Rifle Volunteer Corps - places where ordinary folk learnt the skills of war
Wood-banks - moss-clad survivors from an earlier age
Woodland Inclosures - a bit of history - places of timber production, and valuable wildlife habitats

Quick links

More links


 Search this site


** New Forest ponies **
New Forest ponies in the road
Ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene, but during the first six months of 2018, 36 animals were killed or injured on Forest roads, compared with 26 in the same period in 2017, a shocking rise of 38%. And in the full year, 63 animals were killed on the roads compared to 56 in 2017.
** Always take care when driving **
New Forest seasonal highlights
June
Badgers can now often be watched above ground well before darkness falls.
Deer - fallow, red, roe, sika and muntjac deer are all present - give birth, although the youngsters are unlikely to be noticed until July.
Heath spotted-orchids add delicate pink colour to many of the heaths.
Hobbies, dashing birds of prey, can often be seen aloft, hawking for insects.

July
Silver-washed fritillary butterflies brighten many woodland rides.
Bird song subsides as the annual moult begins, old worn feathers are cast off and new replacements grown.
Wild gladiolus plants bloom. (In the UK, this species is found only in the New Forest).
Dragonflies and Damselflies take to the wing in ever increasing numbers.
New Forest 'what's on' - a small
selection of local events and activities
June 2019
Friday, 7th - Lyndhurst, Verderers' Hall Open Day, 11.00am - 3.00pm.
Friday, 21st - Exbury Gardens, The Secret Garden - open air performance, 7.00pm.
New Forest Gardens open to the public in 2019 through the National Garden Scheme

July 2019
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 4th, 5th and 6th - Burley Village Hall, Burley Players' summer production (Amateur Dramatics), 7.30pm.
Friday, 12th - Brockenhurst Village Hall, Film night, Wild Rose (15), 7.00pm - 10.30pm.
Wednesday, 24th - New Forest Reptile Centre, Wild Wednesday, 10.30am - 3.30pm. (Forestry Commission event).

For further details, view the full New Forest What's on programme.
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley