The New Forest
The New Forest Southampton Reviews
The New Frest Jan 31, 2010
The New Forest is a large area of Forestry Commission owned land managed for the British Public, in the South of England. It is an unusual ecosystem, and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The first thing to note is that in this case, "new" means "1079 AD." Nor is it a forest, in international terms - most of the land is either heathland or woodland. It is unenclosed and has never been cultivated using modern methods, so the heathland and scrub has survived to shelter a lot of wildlife.
The wildlife that the signs warn you about is not especially fierce, of course - the main hazard to drivers, and the reason you should stick to the speed limit, is the new forest pony. These hardy creatures eat gorse and grass, and anything they can con tourists into feeding them, and are generally pretty happy to let you pat them. Just try not to walk behind them, which makes them anxious and occasionally a bit liable to kick. More genuinely wild wildlife includes all three British species of snakes, lots of birds, rabbits, and overexcited small children. The local inhabitants have maintained some ancient traditions, including the right to let their pigs eat acorns for two months in the year (!). There is a 30 mile stretch of coast line, and some rare boggy wetlands.
Attractions in the New Forest include going for a walk, lots of scheduled ancient monuments, and the national motor museum at Beulieu. The area is very beautiful, with hll land in the North and lots of sunny glades in the woods.
As a general rule, everyone seems to respect that this is lovely natural land and takes their litter home with them.
There is plenty of car parking, but obviously, the Forestry COmmission encourage people to walk, cycle, or otherwise be kind to the environment.
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