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.
Campsites remain closed
All ten of the campsites run by Camping in the Forest are closed after the company decided not to open for the rest of this season. We feel for the staff, their families and holidaymakers affected by Camping in the Forests’ decision not to run a very short season in 2020. The specific campsites which remain closed are; Hollands Wood, Ashurst, Denny Wood, Holmsley, Longbeech, Ocknell, Roundhill, Setthorns, Aldridge Hill and Matley Wood.
We strongly urge people wanting to stay overnight in the New Forest to make sure they book their accommodation before they arrive.
It is illegal to wild camp in most of England, and the New Forest is no different. The New Forest is one of the UK’s top locations for nature and wildlife conservation and the whole area is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Camping is strictly limited to designated campsites and overnight parking in car parks is not allowed. This is to ensure that the experience can be enjoyed safely without putting campers and wildlife at risk, and to protect the forest from the risk of fire or other damage.
We've reopened most of our car parks in the New Forest. All other visitor facilities in the Forest including BBQ areas, information cabins, the Reptile Centre and some of our toilets remain closed. Please do not to park on grass verges or block gates. Parking on verges erodes the landscape, destroys rare plants, and significantly reduces the amount of grazing for ponies and livestock. Some areas of the Forest may be busy at times, but parking is not permitted anywhere other than within the official car parks.
Map of Forestry England car parks in the New Forest
Leave the BBQ at home
Fire risks remain high and for this reason fires of any kind, including BBQs or disposal of cigarettes, are currently not allowed anywhere on the Forest.
Stick to the marked trails
It's particularly important that cyclists sticking to marked and designated cycle trails in the New Forest, which is a highly protected landscape, where Forest livestock roam freely. There are over 100 miles of off-road waymarked cycle routes in the New Forest and we encourage cyclists to stay on these all year round.
We’d like to thank everyone that has continued to help us protect this special place. We recognise that many people have missed the New Forest and are keen to return, but we continue to urge people to follow new government social distancing guidance and to behave responsibly when visiting.