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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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New Forest Short Walks - Walks from Lyndhurst

Walk 4
Pinkney Lane, Brick Kiln Inclosure, Butts Lawn and Park Ground Inclosure

Start: Lyndhurst village centre.
Terrain: Mainly on level ground, but with a small number of gentle gradients; and mostly firm, but as sections can at times be wet and muddy, strong boots are recommended.
Distance: 5.5 kilometres (3½ miles).

Walk route and map
Pinkney Lane is a delightful, relatively traffic-free country lane bordered in places by high banks that form a hollow-way. It offers views of Foxlease, and passes beside the grounds of the now demolished Cuffnells mansion, and Wilverley House.

Brick Kiln Inclosure was first planted in 1810 and features a wide variety of broad-leaved trees, including many of the original oaks, beeches and sweet chestnuts as well as birch, hornbeam, and a relatively small block of conifers.

Butts Lawn in winter
Butts Lawn in winter

The name recalls an old brick kiln that was sited here from at least the late-18th century until well into the 19th century – the kiln was marked by Richard, King and Driver on their late-18th century map, and was also shown on an 1826 map of the New Forest. It had, though, disappeared by the time of the 1870s Ordnance Survey map.

Butts Lawn is a horseshoe-shaped piece of open land, the name of which possibly indicates the presence of Bronze Age barrows, which locally were known as Butts. None, though, are now visible.

The south-western arm is primarily heather and gorse-clad heath, whilst the base of the horseshoe supports heather and not much else. The north-eastern arm, through which this walk passes, is a mixture of heathland and rather wet grassland intersected by slow flowing water channels, the haunt of dragonflies and damselflies, sundews and Marsh St. John’s Wort, all of which provide summer splashes of interest and colour.

Philip’s Hill and Whitley Wood are ancient, unenclosed woodlands. Look out here for the browse lines created by commoners’ stock, and deer; and also for the many mature trees left to live out their natural life, creating valuable living places for hole nesting birds, insects and autumnal fungi.

Park Ground Inclosure was first planted in 1810, and contains many of the original beech and oak trees from those days, and also two small, later conifer blocks. Here can be found woodland birds aplenty, and also good numbers of fallow deer and occasional roe deer.

Passed along the way:
Broad-leaved inclosures
Coniferous inclosures
Ancient unenclosed woodlands

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New Forest seasonal highlights
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.

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 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 **
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley
Content produced by Andrew Walmsley