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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
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