Caring for the New Forest
Keep to tracks and avoid disturbing wildlife. Plan your route to be out of the open forest by dusk.
The New Forest is great for dogs but to minimise disturbance wildlife, livestock and other people, please keep your dogs close by you and visible at all times - if necessary use a lead. Pick up after your dog, especially around car parks, on paths and where people play or picnic.
Use a designated car park and lock your car, taking any valuables with you.
The 40 mph speed limit on unfenced roads greatly reduces the number of accidents involving animals. Always give ponies and other forest animals a wide berth; they have little road sense! Be especially careful at night.
Fires & BBQs
Because uncontrolled forest fires are a great threat, no campfires are allowed in the open forest. Raised non-disposable BBQs are welcome at Anderwood, Blackwater, Bolderwood, Hatchet Pond, Linford Bottom, Whitefield Moor, Wilverley Plain and Wilverley Inclosure car parks. Disposable BBQs can only be used on the specially provided metal plates fixed to the picnic tables at Bolderwood and Blackwater. For these sites please contact the Forestry Commission in advance (tel: 023 8028 3141).
BBQ facilities are also provided by Hampshire County Council at Lepe Country Park.
Keep to the way-marked tracks. Give way to walkers and horse riders, and call out a warning when approaching them. Ride in single file on narrow roads and never more than two abreast. Wear bright colours to be visible and always use lights in the dark. More information on cycling in the New Forest.
Take notice of any warning signs and keep a safe distance from work sites. Do not pass any vehicle loading timber unless told it is safe to do so.
Please take your litter home.
Please do not feed the ponies, they may look cute but they can bite and kick - expecially mares with foals - and hand fed ponies tend to gather near roads and become aggressive with other visitors. There is plenty of natural forage for them in the forest. Learn more about the famous New Forest Ponies.
5 Ways to Love the New Forest
1 Slow Down
When visiting the New Forest enjoy yourself in a way that respects the forest, and the people and animals that live and work here. If you are driving please stay under 40mph and slow right down when near to animals and cyclists and give them a wide berth to help prevent accidents.
2 Please don't feed the ponies
Feeding and touching the New Forest ponies encourages them to behave badly - pestering picnickers for food and encouraging them onto busy roads. This increases the chances of them causing harm, especially to young children, and they are more likely to be killed or injured by cars. Human food can also cause severe colic and could kill the ponies. If you see a injured or sick pony please ring the appropriate contact detail listed below. So... please look, but don't touch the ponies.
3 Give your car a break
100 miles of off-road cycle tracks, great walks, the New Forest Tour bus and a main line station at the heart of the forest in Brockenhurst, means you don't need to bring your car at all. Numerous New Forest businesses are also offering discounts and incentives for leaving your car at home, so get out there! Have fun, get fit and give your car a break. Please keep to the tracks when cycling on the open forest.
4 Buy Local
If you like fresh, locally distinctive free range and in many cases, organic produce then look out for the New Forest Marque! You will be helping to support small and unique forest businesses, reducing food miles and be enjoying the best locally produced food and drink around. Visit New Forest Producers Markets for food, drink and crafts and take home a flavour of the New Forest.
5 Look for the Green Leaf
You can have fun and do your bit by choosing green leaf accommodation, attractions, pubs and restaurants... You can even save money by doing so. Green Leaf businesses are taking important steps to care for the New Forest so look out for the green leaf.
New Forest Animal Emergency Hotlines
If you find yourself in an unforseen circumstance where you need to report an accident/injured animal please use the contacts below:
Tel: 999 (emergency)
Tel: 0845 045 4545 (non-emergency)
Road traffic accident involving a pony, cow, donkey, pig, sheep, dog or deer
Verderer's Office (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm)
Tel: 023 8028 2052
Sick, injured or distressed pony, cow, donkey, pig or sheep
Forestry Commission (24hrs)
Tel: 023 8028 3141
Sick, injured or distressed pony, cow, donkey, pig, sheep or deer
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