New Forest Wildlife
Being a National Park, the New Forest is packed with diverse habitats, welcoming many kinds of wildlife, some of which are unique to the area.
Being a National Park, the New Forest is packed with diverse habitats, welcoming many kinds of wildlife, some of which are unique to the area. Much of the park has been awarded Special Area of Conservation status due to how rich in wildlife it is, with New Forest wildlife finding its home within the hundreds of miles of bogs, woodlands and open heathland.
For many visitors it’s a real delight to explore the unspoilt, natural open spaces. Walk through ancient woodland, beside rivers and across heath land with encounters with Forest wildlife such as ponies, donkeys, sheep, cattle, pigs and deer. Bramshaw is a favourite area for these animals, so keep your eyes peeled if staying at The Foresters Lodge!
The New Forest is also home to a variety of species of birds of prey being the perfect habitat for goshawks, buzzards, sparrow hawks, kestrels and hobbies. Also look out for lapwings, woodlarks, redshanks, and snipe.
If you prefer reptiles then The New Forest Reptile Centre https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/englandhampshirenoforestnewforestnewforestreptilecent
is the place for you with examples of most of the UK’s native species of lizards, snakes, frogs and toads.
New Forest Ponies
The New Forest is synonymous with ponies, who can be seen freely roaming and grazing the land not just out in the open countryside, but even in towns and villages. They come in several different colours and sizes, as over the centuries they have been interbred with other breeds to increase variety. At both The Foresters Lodge and Forest View you are guaranteed to see ponies directly from the cottage windows. Remember the ponies are wild, so please don’t feed them and best not to touch! They also have right of way in the forest, so leave a few extra minutes for your journeys, just in case the ponies are going your way!
The New Forest is home to five different species of deer. Fallow deer are the easiest to spot; the females flecked with white spots, and the males sporting impressive antlers. The native species are the roe deer and the red deer, which are much fewer in numbers and more elusive. Sika deer and muntjac deer can also be sighted if you’re lucky. Dawn and dusk are the best times of day to look out for deer. The north of the Forest has the highest population of deer in the New Forest, so keep watching while staying at The Foresters Lodge, the deer are about, you just need to be quiet and eagle eyed!
The white stag lives around Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/englandhampshirenoforestnewforestbolderwood and the deer are fed here so there is a high chance of spotting deer from the viewing platform.
For more information on the wonderful wildlife of the New Forest http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/info/20090/wildlife
See wildlife encounters before you arrive with our live webcam at New Forest Reptile Centre in partnership with RSPB