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Swimming and watersports are prohibited in the New Forest

Swimming and watersports (including boating and paddleboarding) in ponds and other natural water sources in the New Forest is not allowed in order to protect the wildlife habitat.

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

The New Forest is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and its freshwater bodies are home to some of the rarest wetland plants and freshwater animals, long since lost from many other parts of the UK. As a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area for Conservation, maintaining the health of the waterways is a legal requirement.

Conservation and Protection

The waterways are a vital resource for the wildlife in the New Forest and while the SSSI protected landscape that we manage provides opportunities for responsible recreation, it’s important that we all respect the Forest whilst enjoying this special place safely.