Category Archives: New Forest flora & fauna

New Forest: timber stealers and plunderers

The New Forest is often described as a mosaic of habitats, which include heathland, valley mires and ancient pasture woodland. Within these varied environments grow all manner of plant life, from the tiny bog orchid (Hammarbya paludosa) up to the … Continue reading

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New Forest: self medication and creature comforts

The free-roaming ponies, cows, donkeys and, during pannage, pigs on the New Forest are usually able to take care of themselves and do not require the constant attention required by their intensively farmed or field-kept counterparts. Even the process of giving … Continue reading

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New Forest: lapwings reward the early riser

I’m really enjoying my walks on the New Forest at the moment. I start very early in the morning, when there are few people about, and often arrive just in time to see the sun appearing over the horizon. As … Continue reading

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New Forest: swallows – the heralds of summer.

I was very excited this week by the return of the migrant barn swallows that have, for many years, been resident in the stables on my holding. Their journey from Africa to the New Forest each spring is hazardous and … Continue reading

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New Forest: Easter and the coming of spring.

The Easter holidays have a big impact on the New Forest. They traditionally mark the beginning of springtime and the time of year that many visitor attractions open their doors to welcome guests at the start of the season. Tourism … Continue reading

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New Forest: squirrel-pie anyone?

Like it or not, the history of the New Forest is firmly interconnected with the practice of hunting. It was for this purpose that William I established the landscape as a Royal Forest, in the eleventh century. While most people associate … Continue reading

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Sparrow starvers and the Great Manure Crisis of 1894

I had to drive to west London recently. The journey was without incident until I found myself in a slow procession of cars queuing alongside Gunnersby Park, on the North Circular Road. My attention was drawn by a sudden flash … Continue reading

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New Forest: the great mouse invasion 1814

Whilst moving bales of hay from the barn recently I noticed in one of them an imprinted circular shape that was about the diameter of a coffee mug. In the shallow impression were several empty hazelnut shells. Each of the … Continue reading

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New Forest ponies: search and find or hide and seek?

The New Forest has taken on a completely different look and feel since the onset of late autumn. Many of the birds that were regularly encountered over the summer months have, like the tourists, migrated elsewhere. The atmosphere is tranquil … Continue reading

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New Forest: foals and fawns

Regular visitors to the New Forest will, hopefully, by now have had a chance to see some of the pony and donkey foals that are currently to be found roaming on the Open Forest. They are charming little additions to … Continue reading

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