Help stop the spread of coronavirus. Stay home, stay safe – please do not come to our forests - Read our COVID-19 guidance

The New Forest has a wide-range of local, national and international protections, meaning the New Forest is globally important for its landscape, nature conservation, heritage and recreation

We are the current custodian of the Crown lands of the New Forest, which make up nearly half of the total area of the National Park. It’s a role that requires us to balance the needs of people, nature and business, and ensure that the public are able to enjoy the forest in the most appropriate way.

Coronavirus update, Access to the New Forest - 31 March 2020

The government has told us to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. The guidance is clear. Our priority is to keep the public and our staff safe and sadly this means that we have to ask people not to come to the New Forest. 

To support this we have closed our car parks, where it's possible to do so, including the New  Forest’s most popular and busy locations; Bolderwood, Wilverley, Blackwater, Whitefield Moor, Anderwood, Hatchet Pond and the New Forest Reptile Centre. Ahead of the Easter bank holiday, there are concerns that some people may ignore the government guidance and travel to the New Forest. That’s why we’ve also decided to close our car park at Bolton’s Bench in Lyndhurst. Several smaller car parks, where it is possible to do so, have also been closed.

All campsites, toilets, BBQ areas and visitor cabins are closed. We would like to remind people that wild camping or overnight stops by camper vans in our car parks is illegal anywhere in the New Forest.

In an unfenced, open forest landscape like the New Forest it is not possible to physically close every small car park or lay-by. We are encouraging people to take their exercise from home - stay local, stay safe.

We ask people to behave responsibly and not park on Forest verges, or in front of gates as it blocks access for emergency vehicles, and do not obstruct the highways.

Car park closures

Please do not travel by car to the New Forest. We have closed our car parks where it’s possible and practical to do so.

Further local information

All Camping in the Forest campsites are closed.

For updates on New Forest District Council services including community information, waste, support to businesses, housing, planning, benefits, and council tax, please see


Visit one of our main visitor sites:

Membership invitation - click to find out more about membership
Volunteer with us invitation - click to discover volunteer opportunities across England