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New Forest The New Forest Area - "special and unique"

The New Forest is an area of southern England which includes one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land,  heathland and forest in the heavily populated south east of England.  It covers south-west Hampshire and extends into south-east Wiltshire and towards east Dorset.   It is a unique place of ancient history, fascinating wildlife and stunning beauty.  Originally being a royal hunting preserve.

Most of the New Forest (206 square miles) is within the local government administrative area of New Forest District Council (290 square miles).  Within the district there are 145 square miles of crown land, managed by the Forestry Commission.

The New Forest is a thriving working forest that has prospered for nearly 1000 years.  Many of the agricultural  practices conceded by the Crown in historical  times to local  people are still retained.   Principal  of these is the depasturing of ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys in the Open Forest by authorised  local inhabitants known as commoners.  These  unique agricultural  commoning practices are administered by the Verderers.

Operating within the heart of the district  council area is the National Park Authority.  National Park status was awarded in 2005 to the New Forest and immediate surrounding  area in recognition of the many qualities that the New Forest holds.

The broad range of responsible organisations and community groups that exist means that the council needs to work very collaboratively with and in the community to deliver solutions.

The very special nature of the New Forest makes it an extremely attractive place to live.






Updated: 24 Oct 2016
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