New Forest - filming and photography

Updated 20th May 2021

Filming and photography permits

Visitors and residents are welcome to take photographs for their own personal (non-commercial) or educational use without being charged, or requiring our permission.

However, commercial photography projects, photo shoots and commercial filming requires a permit and possible filming fee. The permit, charges and terms and conditions for commercial photography vary and we ask people to get in touch and complete a permission application form before they start filming.

The fees vary depending on the scale of your shoot.  Please contact us to discuss.

Press photographers, particularly those wishing to photograph special events, must request permission ahead of their visit. No fee is charged for media outlets that are reporting on current events, or for non-commercial purposes.

Why do we charge for permission?

The charges we apply helps to cover the costs of administration and support we give to production companies and photographers during and after their filming, to ensure the best locations are found and their production goes as safely and smoothly as possible. We are a non-profit making organisation and money raised from permission fees go towards helping us to look after the unique environment in which the event is held.

Why can’t you issue permission quickly?

Staff need sufficient time to go through the correct process and make sure the relevant consultations have been carried out. There may be exceptional occasions when we are able to process an application quickly, but as a minimum we must ensure the correct consultations process is followed and recorded in writing.

I’m a student - where can I film and do I need permission first?

Filming is highly restricted on the New Forest Crown lands, under the framework of our Habitat Regulation Assessment. However, we do provide alternative locations suited for students to film, these woodlands are Holt Pound and Abbotts Wood.

If you'd like to use one of these filming locations, please contact our Filming Ranger and ask for an application form pam.eastwood@forestryengland.uk. You should complete this form carefully and return it with your college or school Public Liability Insurance certificate and an email from your tutor or teacher confirming that:

  1. that you will be insured by your college or school all the time you are on Forestry England land
  2. that you are bona fide students doing coursework.

This process needs at least two weeks notice and last minute requests will not be granted.

Please note that fires are not permitted; no guns or weapons of any kind, or set-building will be allowed. Filming is restricted to daylight hours only.

You should consider the impact your filming activity will have on the forest and its wildlife.  To help protect the forest you need to take the following into account:

  • The numbers of participants, spectators and vehicles.  What potential affect might they have on tracks and on the wildlife?
  • Ensure your proposed activity is compatible with environmental aspects of the forest.
  • Confirm you have adequate resources for marshalling, car parking, toilets, emergency cover, etc.
  • Remove litter and any of your signs or instructions immediately after the visit.
  • Ensure that your activity is not on routes along or across public footpaths and/or bridleways.
  • Check whether you need permission from the local Highways Authority.

To apply for a permit and find out more about costs involved please complete the application form or email  full details of what you are planning, along with your full contact details(including phone number and postal address) to:

southern.permissions@forestryengland.uk or please contact us on 0300 067 4601.