The New Forest National Park is a great place for walking, dog walking, cycling and horse riding. When you’re enjoying healthy exercise, fresh air, beautiful surroundings and the rich wildlife, please help us to care for this very special place.
Birds – To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, your dogs and your children on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of July.
Dogs – To minimise disturbance to 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, and take bagged waste home if there is no litter bin.
Parking – To avoid damage and obstruction please park only in designated car parks, not on a verge or in gateways. Lock your car, taking any valuables with you and leave Forestry Commission car parks by dusk.
Driving – The ponies and other animals have no road sense and frequently stand or walk on the unfenced roads, so give them (and walkers, cyclists and horse riders) a wide berth and be especially careful when driving at night.
BBQs and fire – To reduce the risk of damaging wildfires, campfires are not permitted without the landowner’s permission. Disposable BBQs are welcome at Bolderwood, Blackwater and Wilverley where stands and water are available. Raised, non-disposable BBQs are allowed on the hard-standing areas of car parks, providing water is available. You can hire fixed stand party-sized BBQs from the Forestry Commission (call 0300 0674601), and two BBQ sites are available for hire at Lepe Country Park provided by Hampshire County Council.
Cycling – Cycling is allowed only on the waymarked tracks and other designated routes. When approaching people and animals, call out a warning and pass slowly and wide. Try to leave gaps for overtaking vehicles and never ride more than two abreast. Keep to a safe speed, wear bright colours to be visible and always use lights in the dark.
Camping – Please note that camping in the wild and overnight parking is not allowed.
Forest management – Stay safe by taking note of warning signs and keep away from work sites and vehicles.
Litter – Your food and litter could harm the ponies and donkeys. Please take your litter home if bins are full.
Ponies, donkeys, cattle and pigs – For their safety and your own please leave the animals alone – although owned and cared for by local people called Commoners, they are unpredictable and best treated as wild. Please don’t feed or pet them; there is plenty of natural food and it’s best that they don’t come to rely on people’s attention. They may look friendly but they can bite and kick, especially mares with foals.
Fungi – Please leave fungi for other people to enjoy. Fungi are essential to the New Forest’s internationally protected ecosystem. If you suspect or see commercial picking please call the Forestry Commission 0300 0674600 or the National Trust on 01425 650035
Unidentified objects – Areas of the New Forest were used to test bombs in World War I and II. Please keep away from objects that might be dangerous and notify the police immediately on 999.
Horse riding – Horse riders have open access to the New Forest but to reduce damage to the ground please use tracks when it’s wet.
Ticks – Check your dog and yourself for ticks when you get back home – they can lead to Lyme Disease.