1. Keep your distance from the animals – don’t feed or touch them
The New Forest is well-known for its roaming ponies, donkeys, cattle, pigs and in some places, sheep. For their safety and your own please don’t feed or pet them; there is plenty of natural food and it’s best that they don’t come to rely on people’s attention. They may look friendly but they are unpredictable and can bite and kick, especially mares with foals.
2. Take home litter and dog waste
Please remember that your food and litter could harm the ponies and donkeys, so please take your litter home if bins are full.
3. No fires or barbecues
During periods of hot, dry weather, especially in the open areas of heathland, please be careful not to set fire to the Forest. One carelessly discarded cigarette or glass bottle, could cause a massive and dangerous fire which would destroy a large area of natural habitat, kill countless animals and endanger nearby properties. BBQs are only permitted in dedicated areas, including our campsites. Any barbecues used on our sites should be specifically designed and used only for the purpose of cooking food (i.e. not firepits). They should be robust, secure and able to be raised off of the forest floor, there should be no damage or marks left on the ground where they have been used.
4. Keep dogs under control. Don’t let dogs approach or chase any animals.
Particularly in Spring, please keep yourself and your dogs to the main tracks so that ground nesting birds can continue to live alongside the many human visitors to the Forest.
5. Park only in car parks
Avoid parking on verges as this may damage the vegetation.
6. No wild camping
Camping is only permitted in dedicated campsites.
7. Stick to the permitted cycle tracks
Off road cycling in the New Forest is permitted only on certain routes. Please take a look at the NFNPA’s cycling routes for more information on this.
8. Drive with care – animals on the road!
If you are travelling by car, take your time when driving around the National Park. Many of the New Forest’s roads are narrow, and drivers will regularly come across cyclists, horse riders, walkers and animals in the road.
9. Help wildlife by keeping to the main tracks.
Please keep to the main tracks from March to July to protect rare ground nesting birds.
Thank you for taking the time to read through these important rules and helping us to care for our special National Park. For more information on how to care for the forest visit the NFNPA website.