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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. *****

Beaulieu and East Boldre walks

Beauieu Mill viewed from the nearby path leading to Buckler's Hard
Beaulieu Mill viewed from the nearby path
leading to Buckler's Hard

Check out these great Beaulieu and East Boldre walks.

The first walk starts in Beaulieu village centre and follows a route to Buckler's Hard, passing through meadows and woodland, and alongside the Beaulieu River.

The three other walks start in the parish of East Boldre, which abuts the Beaulieu parish boundary. However, two of the three are closely associated with Beaulieu as they pass over Beaulieu Heath and take in the site of an old Second World War airfield: RAF Beaulieu, or Beaulieu Airfield as it's sometimes known.

The fourth walk, however, is definitely an East Boldre walk as it starts opposite the village post office and goes around the site of another airfield, East Boldre Airfield, which dates back to the very early days of flight.

All the walks can be started from points on the route of the New Forest Tour bus which, in season, provides a very convenient means of transport. The walks also pass close to, or through, Forestry Commission or other car parks.

The walks are all of relatively modest length, varying from 1½ miles (2.5 kilometres) to 5 miles (8 kilometres), there are no really steep gradients and no stiles over which to climb.

Please note: Charges apply for use of the car park in Beaulieu village centre. Free parking is, however, available in Forestry Commission car parks and opposite East Boldre post office.

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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