New Forest Wildlife and Farm Attractions

If you are a lover of wildlife then the New Forest is a great place to visit! Here you will find ponies, donkeys and cattle roaming free, not to mention an abundance of birdlife.

Take some time out to explore our beautiful New Forest landscape and experience nature first-hand at some of our wildlife and nature attractions.

We have ancient woodland, a stunning coastline and our expansive heathland, all of which provides habitats for a wide range of animal, bird and insect.

Discover our native wildlife

There are several places in the New Forest where you can get to see some of the unique flora and fauna that’s native to this area.

At the New Forest Reptile Centre, near Lyndhurst, you can get the opportunity to spot some of the UK’s native reptiles including the sand lizard and adder in outdoor enclosures. There’s also a woodland walk from the car park. What’s more, a visit to the centre, which is managed by the Forestry Commission, is free with donations for car parking encouraged.  

Park up at Bolderwood Car Park after driving through the impressive Rhinefield Ornamental Drive, passing some of the majestic tall trees. At Bolderwood, make the short walk to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary with the deer-viewing platform. You can also extend the walks around the area by following the various route markers and see what other wildlife you can spot. There are often nature trails running and stop by at the Forestry England information point for a wealth of information on the species you can find here in the New Forest.

Then there’s the New Forest Wildlife Park at Ashurst. Here, you can get up close to the sika, fallow and roe deer that roam freely within the park. See if you can spot the resident adders, water voles and owls as well as the non-native animals including the popular wallabies and lynx.

At Burley Park, a short distance from the village of Burley, take a tractor-drawn trailer ride on a deer safari and witness the shy and elusive red deer within this spectacular setting.

Take a guided nature walk to discover the New Forest’s unique flora and fauna. Wild New Forest offer fantastic guided walks with their New Forest experts, or enjoy a guided walk with a twist with Brockenhurst Donkey Walks

Another way to discover more of the area’s incredible wildlife is to make a visit to one or more of the nature reserves that can be found here. Blashford Lakes, near Ringwood, is a former gravel quarry-turned nature reserve. Wetland birds thrive here, particularly during the winter months. Look out for regular nature-based events here including guided walks, pond dipping and photography workshops.

Just within the borders of the New Forest National Park you will find Landford Bog nature reserve. Expanses of heather and wet woodland can be found here and the nature reserve is not only a Site of Special Scientific Interest but is home to many amazing species of insect.

Lymington and Keyhaven marshes nature reserve offers a special habitat for wetland birds as well as breeding pairs of linnet and Dartford warbler. With salty lagoons, reed beds and stony areas. Take the Hurst Castle Ferry from Keyhaven Quay and you will pass through some of this nature reserve.

Other animal attractions in and around the New Forest

Longdown Activity Farm, near Ashurst is a working farm where children can have a go at feeding ducks, bottle-feeding calves and handling small animals. There are also on-site indoor and outdoor play areas for young visitors as well as go karting.

Farm shop, Hockey’s Farm, also doubles up as an animal attraction with the resident animals including alpaca, donkeys and ponies.

Near to Winchester, Marwell Zoo is home to a wealth of exotic species from across the globe, with a strong emphasis on conservation and the breeding of endangered species.

Plus near Verwood, why not learn all about heavy horses at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park?

Save money on visiting some of our wildlife and farm attractions

If you want to save money off visiting some of our wildlife and farm attractions then don’t forget to purchase the £10 Go New Forest Card. This card can save you money off nearly 400 days out, activities, places to eat and drink and accommodation in and around the New Forest.

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