New Forest
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New Forest
Explorers Guide
Wildlife 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. *****

Lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica)

Where: Mainly on heathland
When: Late April - August
How many: Relatively common and widely distributed

Lousewort is a relatively common, distinctive plant of the damper New Forest heaths. A low-growing perennial, the plant's unmistakable reddy-pink, occasionally white, two-lipped flowers can be seen from late-April until August projecting from prominently bulbous, cylindrical sepal tubes.

Lousewort is a partial parasite on the roots of other plants, most often grasses, from which it extracts nutrients through tiny white suckers on its own roots.

The name lousewort refers to the lice and liver-flukes that often inhabit the places in which the plant grows, sometimes infesting grazing animals, and occasionally humans. Perhaps not surprisingly, lousewort does not seem to have been much used in herbal medicine.

Collins New Generation Guide - Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe: Alastair Fitter
Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain
The Encyclopedia of British Wild Flowers: John Akeroyd

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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