The New Forest
In 2005 , the New Forest became a National Park and was once William the Conquerors royal hunting ground. It covers 566 sq km and is made up of ancient woodlands, lowland heaths, bogs and river valleys and is a designated site of special scientific interest (SSSI) with a variety of rare species living here to include rare birds like the goshawk, nightjar and Dartford warbler. All 3 native species of snake live within the New Forest as well as the mammals which include badgers, 4 species of deer and the Pine marten which is starting to make a comeback! The rare plants that grow here include sundew, petty whin and wild gladiolus that grows nowhere else in the UK.
The New forest also offers a lot of historical sites and buildings from ancient burial grounds and woodlands as well as historical coastline, listed buildings such as the traditional cob cottage and the manor houses.
The New Forest is truly a place of historical and diverse wonder for any budding archeologist, ecologist or simply anyone wanting some time in the peace and beauty of what this special place has to offer.
The architects of the forest are the roaming commoners animals such as ponies, cattle, donkeys and in the autumn pigs. Which are left to live wild and the graze the crownlands of the forest, being overseen by the “officials” of the forest; Agisters and Verderers. The commoning stock are all owned by people who have commoning rights with their property and without these people using their traditional rights, the forest wouldn’t be the diverse and important ecosystem it is to allow these rare species thrive.