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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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***** Coronavirus update - for the latest information and advice about New Forest access restrictions and related matters, check out the New Forest National Park Authority and Forestry England websites. *****
***** Coronavirus update - for the latest information and advice about New Forest access restrictions and related matters,
check out the New Forest National Park Authority and Forestry England websites. *****

Brockenhurst walks

A quiet green lane near Roydon Manor
A quiet green lane near Roydon Manor, just waiting to be walked

Check out these great Brockenhurst walks. All can be started from Brockenhurst village centre and they are therefore convenient for travellers by train to Brockenhurst station and also for users of local bus services including, in season, New Forest Tour buses.

All these Brockenhurst walks, though, also pass close to Forestry Commission or other car parks situated on, or near, the main walk routes, which provide convenient alternative start points.

The Brockenhurst walks are of varying length, ranging from 4.5 kilometres (2¾ miles) to 10 kilometres (6¼ miles), excluding the distance from the village centre to the main start points. There are no really steep gradients, and few stiles to climb over.

And for the really energetic, the first walk shown can be extended to incorporate much of a separate Boldre Walk, providing a total route length of 14 kilometres (8¾ miles).

Please note: Charges apply for use of the car park in Brockenhurst village centre. Free parking is, however, available in Forestry Commission car parks and in a small car park beside the river, opposite the Balmer Lawn Hotel - adjacent to the A337 to the north of the village.

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New Forest seasonal highlights
March
Lesser celandine blooms illuminate woodlands, and heathland edges.
Fallow deer remain in single sex herds, the bucks at this time always separate from the does.
Curlews return from the coast to breed in and around the New Forest's wetter areas.
Red admiral butterflies are increasingly seen on bright, sunny days.

April
Redstarts are amongst the first returning long-distance migrant birds that arrive in April.
Large red damselflies take to the wing, the first of many such species that will soon be seen in the New Forest.
Bluebells blossom, sometimes in good numbers in ungrazed woodlands.
Badger cubs first appear above ground towards the end of the month.
** New Forest ponies and other animals**
New Forest ponies in the road
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).
** Always take care when driving **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley