The New Forest is There For Everyone – Especially the Animals

Although the New Forest is a free and open place, there is a code you should observe whilst in the Forest area, which has been implemented by the Forestry Commission and is there for the well-being of the Forest and safety of visitors.

Preservation and long-term conservation are goals of the Forestry Commission and following their simple rules will help this process along. In the New Forest the well-being of the animals and the special needs of the countryside come first.

The New Forest Code

  • Roads, please drive at 40mph or below on all unfenced forest roads greatly reduces the number of accidents involving ponies, cattle and deer – especially at night.
  • Parking on the roadside causes congestion and great damage to verges. Use one of the 150 Forest car parks, but remember to lock your car and take valuables with you.
  • Cycling is extremely popular but also destructive if the cycle routes are not followed, so please keep to marked paths and cycle tracks. Give way to walkers and those on horse-back and please travel at moderate speeds and avoid wheel spins and skidding.
  • Ponies are wild and don’t need feeding by visitors, which also encourages them to stray onto dangerous Forest roads. Both ponies and donkeys can be very aggressive and young children are particularly at risk.
  • Dogs are a serious problem in the Forest. So pets should be on a lead and under control at all times.
  • You may walk on any footpath or track unless it says otherwise – by keeping to paths you greatly reduce the risk of disturbance to wildlife and their habitats.
  • Fire is a great threat to habitats and wildlife. Therefore no picnic or camp fires are allowed but BBQ sites are provided. To book ring the Forestry Commission on 023 8028 3141.
  • Litter should always be placed in litter bins, or taken home with you.


  • 1. Forest Enterprise manages the 2.4 million acres of forests and woodlands belonging to the Forestry Commission. 50 million people a year visit the Forestry Commission’s forests and woodlands.
  • 2. The Forestry Commission and Forest Enterprise will be contacting the Forest Industries Development Council to discuss timber transport issues.
  • 3. Access and recreation groups and other countryside organisations will all be contacted regarding the closures.
  • 4. The public can obtain further information by ringing their local Forest District office or by contacting the National Public enquiries line on 0131 314 6322. More information is available on the Forestry Commission’s website

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