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Welcome to the Strolling Guide to the New Forest

Or should that be the Strolling Guide to the New Forest and South West Hampshire as this section now covers an area that extends well to the west of the forest itself.

The New Forest proper (the red, green and yellow areas on the map) covers some 34,600 hectares (93,000 acres or 143 square miles) of south-west Hampshire. Of this, just over 19,000 hectares (45,500 acres) is unenclosed common grazing, the largest unenclosed area in lowland southern England.

Back in June 2004, the Government announced that the New Forest would become a National Park, England's first new park for 15 years. This came into effect from March 2005.

The boundries of the National Park are shown as the brown areas on the map, and included, or border on to a number of interesting spots, such as Lymington, Lepe, Hythe, Fordingbridge and Ringwood. The additional areas involved consists mainly of farmland and private forestry plantations, with very little unenclosed land.