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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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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
January
Honeysuckle, an early harbinger of spring, shows signs of new growth.
Bird sounds - great tit calls and mistle thrush song, for example, are increasingly heard as the days lengthen and spring rapidly approaches.
Foxes breed during the early months of the year. Their presence is betrayed by barks after darkness falls.


February
Great grey shrikes hunt over heathland from tree-top vantage points and other perches.
Grey squirrels are often best seen in winter when deciduous trees are devoid of leaves.
Red Admirals and other butterflies that over-winter as adults may be on the wing on warm, bright days.
Roe deer
antlers continue to develop - they are cast and re-grown annually.
** 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