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, just over 29,000 hectares, 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.
The government has said the single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives. Exercising outdoors should be done where you live, in your city, town or village. We all need to reduce the number of journeys we make and maintain social distancing to avoid overcrowding in our forest car parks. Stay at home if you are displaying coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.
Ensuring the New Forest is a safe place to exercise and protecting the very special nature, and landscape we have here, requires all of us to respect and look after it.
Park and drive responsibly
Most of our car parks are open for local outdoor exercise once per day. Parking is not allowed anywhere other than within the official car parks. Please do not to park on grass verges or block gates. We have taken the decision to leave most of our car parks open for several reasons. We are concerned that closing them would lead to large amounts of parking on verges and open ground that could block narrow roads and cause real and irreversible damage to the landscape.
Map of Forestry England car parks in the New Forest
Stick to the marked trails
With our health and emergency services under such intense pressure please only cycle on routes you know well and that are well within your ability level. It's particularly important that cyclists stick to marked and designated cycle trails in the New Forest, which is a highly protected and fragile landscape. 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.
Please remember the Forest is home to many grazing animals and wildlife that can be made ill from litter that people leave behind. Please help us keep the New Forest a tidy place for people and safe place for animals by being responsible for your own rubbish.
Thank you for helping us look after our precious landscape by treating it with respect and following the New Forest Code.