Welcome to the New Forest Expedition Assessor Network.
The New Forest or Nova Foresta was created as a medieval deer hunting area in 1079 by William the Conqueror. It is still largely owned by the crown.
Covering 145 square miles (37,500 hectares), it contains woodland, pasture, heaths, bogs and the remains of coppices and timber plantations from the 17th to 19th centuries. The area is rich in plant life, mosses, ferns, grasses, reeds, flowers and fungi. Bird life is elusive as are the deer, but if you are very quiet, you may catch sight of them as they roam the forest.
One of the rights gained from the Crown centuries ago, gave Commoners the right to graze their ponies, cattle and pigs in the open forest.
Ponies, donkeys and cattle are best left well alone. Keep your distance from them and they won't trouble you. Remember they have more right to be there than you have. In the Autumn, give pigs even more space, especially if they have young with them.
The New Forest became a National park in March 2005.
It lies between Southampton Water and the Avon Valley in South West Hampshire, with access by road via the M27 and A31, or by rail on the London to Bournemouth Line.
Walkers have permission to access all open forest and inclosures (unless closed for forestry operations). Permitted Cycle tracks are marked on the outdoor Leisure 22 map (scale 1:25000) New Forest.