Written by John Butterworth
The stunningly beautiful New Forest is situated within the county of Hampshire, only 10 miles from the Chine Hotel, and accommodates over 150 square miles. The Forest, as affectionately called by locals, is a very special place indeed with rare blends of colourful open heathlands, ancient woodlands and uniquely decorated with roaming ponies, pigs, deer and pheasants to name but a few.
This timeless scenery is truly wonderful, a perfect place to enjoy and explore. We suggest you stop for a bite to eat at a traditional New Forest pub; or picnic by one of the numerous picturesque streams, or grassy areas, while watching the contented ponies graze.
Without doubt, anyone who has ever read the words ‘New Forest’ will probably have read the word ‘pony’ in the same paragraph, if not the same sentence! The New Forest ponies are in an abundance in the forest, you can barely walk 100 yards without bumping into one of these gorgeous beasts. Although they look very much wild they are in fact all owned by various people, these owners are known as ‘Commoners’ and they have the right to graze their ponies on the Open Forest land. Commoner owned wildlife doesn’t just stop at the ponies; there are pigs and cattle of various breeds, donkeys and five different species of deer (roe, red, fallow, sika and muntjac).
The New Forest has a long and proud history that dates back almost 1,000 years. It takes its name from the latin nova foresta, which translates literally as ‘new hunting ground’, although hunting had been practiced in the area long before this time. The forest was designated as a royal hunting ground for King William the Conquerer in 1079. This gave the area, and its precious wildlife, the protection from development and construction. Back to the present time, in 2005 the New Forest was been awarded its National Park status ensuring it will remain a stunning landscape for everyone to enjoy for years to come.
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