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Pony near Hampton Ridge
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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
May
Bluebells and other wild flowers brighten the woods, usually in relatively small numbers.
Bird song can be heard throughout the day but is at its loudest at dawn and, to a lesser extent, dusk.
Foals are born in increasing numbers and can be seen beside ever-attentive mares.
Dragonflies are more frequently observed on the wing as spring progresses.

June
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.
** 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