New Forest
 - Explorers
New Forest
Explorers Guide
Miscellaneous pages 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. *****

About us

Welcome to the New Forest Explorers’ Guide, a web site developed for those who want to know more about the New Forest, its landscape, history, wildlife and villages.

My name is Andrew Walmsley and I’ve produced the site to share with others something of the special characteristics of this old hunting Forest. I hope all who browse here find the contents informative, but more importantly, enjoy the experience.

I lived in the New Forest for over 25 years, and have had a life-long interest in nature and the countryside, and a 25 year interest in landscape and nature photography. Since 1996 I’ve also written on countryside subjects for a number of local and national magazines.

I’m a long-standing member of Hampshire Ornithological Society – I was a committee member for almost 20 years, was Chairman of the Membership Sub-committee for 10 years and organised the walks programme for even longer.

I’ve also been a member of the Hampshire Wildlife Trust for over 20 years, and am a member of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), New Forest Badger Group and the New Forest Association.

With the exception of a small number of pictures mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of the web site, all the photographs shown here are my own. And whilst the text is my own, many reference works have inevitably been consulted, and information provided by a number of friends and acquaintances.

After working in the I.T. industry for 39 years the opportunity arose to bring together professional skills, out-of-work interests, writing and photography. So now, assisted with general administration by daughters Sarah and Laura, this web site has seen the light of day.

I hope the results are worthwhile.

Please note, Andrew Walmsley is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Many reference sources have been used whilst producing the text for this web site, and these are gratefully acknowledged on the relevant pages.

Special thanks are also due, however, to the following:

Tom Calverley for undertaking the lengthy task of proof reading all the text, and for making many helpful suggestions.

Richard Reeves of the Christopher Tower New Forest Reference Library for unfailing help and courtesy during my many quests for information, and for the print of Lyndhurst’s ‘old’ parish church.
Roy Jackman for help and information about Lyndhurst, and for copies of many documents produced for the now defunct Lyndhurst Historical Society.

Dan Powell for allowing use of his excellent illustrations of crossbills, hen harriers and woodpeckers.

Martin and Julia Noble for providing access for photography to sand lizards and the occasional fox.

John Ruppersbery for sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of the New Forest and its wildlife.

Tim Witney for information on Lyndhurst, Bank, Gritnam and Allum Green; for tales of Allum Green during wartime; and for fascinating insights into the life of a commoner.

Bernie and Sue Austin for providing numerous old photographs of Lyndhurst.

Alan Langford for allowing use of the print of Lyndhurst’s Crown Hotel.

John and Anthony Howell for providing invaluable access to information that otherwise would not have been available.

Richard Lock Photography for permission to use the hobby picture.

The New Forest Association for permission to reproduce the Richardson, King, Driver and Driver maps.

And finally, the Hampshire Record Office for permission to reproduce the old Ordnance Survey maps.

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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