Special qualities in the New Forest

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10 reasons why the New Forest is a special place...

From ancient trees to distinctive New Forest ponies, diverse wildlife to tranquillity in a built-up part of the UK, the park's special qualities include:

  • The New Forest National Park is a ‘living’ and working remnant of medieval England with an overwhelming sense of continuity, tradition, and history.
  • Outstanding natural beauty: the sights, sounds and smells of ancient woodland with veteran trees, heathland, bog, autumn colour and an unspoilt coastline with views of the Solent and Isle of Wight.
  • An extraordinary diversity of plants and animals of international importance.
  • A unique historic, cultural and archaeological heritage - from royal hunting ground to ship-building to salt making and 500 years of military coastal defence.
  • It is still home to an ancient commoning system that maintains so much of what people know and love as ‘the New Forest’ - forming the heart of a working landscape based on farming and forestry.
  • You'll find the iconic New Forest Pony together with donkeys, pigs and cattle roaming free in its woods.
  • The park is a haven of amazing tranquillity in the midst of the busy, built-up south of England.
  • There are wonderful opportunities for quiet recreation, learning and discovery in one of the last extensive, gentle landscapes in the south - including unmatched open access on foot and horseback.
  • The park is a healthy environment - offering fresh air, clean water, local produce and a sense of ‘wildness’.
  • Strong and distinctive local communities have real pride in and a sense of identity with their local area.

Keeping it special - the role of the Authority