Seasons to enjoy in the New Forest
Spring Feb to May
The Forest awakens , starting with a wonderful growth of Spring Flowers, Primroses,Blue Bells, Wood Anemones and Foxgloves
In early May the magnificent Beech and Oak trees leaves open which provide the canopy shade for the hotter days ahead.
From dawn to dusk bird calls can be deafening as they seek their mates and make ready to nest. The cuckoo too makes his presence felt with his evocative call.
Ground Nesting Birds start nesting, so please follow the Forestry England guide lines when walking on the open heathland and keep your dog on a lead. An extendable lead is acceptable and gives a lot freedom for your dog. This also applies to when you see Cattle and New Forest Ponies.
All New Forest Car Parks are free but where they are full please move on to the next car park and do not park on the verges. May is a great month to visit Exbury Gardens, world famous for their rhododendrons and azaleas.
WALKING from Pinewood
You are just 2 minutes away from the Open Heathland of The New Forest. From Pinewoods gravel track just cross the road and you are at Bolton’s Bench where ponies regularly graze. From here you can walk to Ashurst or Beaulieu.
Hire can be arranged from Woods Cyclery in Lyndhurst, just 5 mins away. They will help you plan routes. Remember to stick to the gravel tracks!
Summer June, July and August.
The warmer months are here , foals are being born and beaches from Lepe to Milford on Sea are approximately 30 minutes away.
From Calshot beach you can be mesmerised by the flotillas of yachts sailing in and out of the Isle of Wight and watch the cruise liners set sail.
Horse riding can be arranged from Ford Farm Stables , Brockenhurst . No roads, just riding on the Forest Heathland and through the Woods fab ! Great experience as it gives an opportunity to get really close with nature.
Wherever you drive you will come into contact with the iconic New Forest Pony. Sought after all over Europe as a wonderful riding or driving pony.
Be warned that the best way to approach them is from a distance because they are wild and they kick and bite ,so please don’t pet or feed.
Visit the New Forest Museum in Lyndhurst to understand the 900 years of this very special National Park.
Autumn September, October and November
Autumn to winter is a magical time to be in the New Forest.
The best months for walking to friendly pubs. The famous deer rutting season starts. In many parts of heavily wooded enclosure’s you can hear them roar ! Both Red Deer and Fallow are in action from late September to mid November.
Autumn 🍂 leaves fall to the forest floor starting with the Chestnut then Beech and Oak .For around six weeks the colours are astounding ending with a blanket of crunchy red forest floor.
This season is when the Commoners turn their sows and piglets out onto the forest allowing them to hoover up the acorns and beech mast. This tradition is of benefit to Native Forest Pony as acorns and beechmast are poisonous to them. They stay out till early December when they are brought in after nearly 3 months of total freedom. The meat is very much sought after and is considered to be the most delicious pork you have ever eaten.
The Forest is asleep but the colour is still there Holly bears its red fruit and the New Forest has more Holly Woods than anywhere else in Europe! The mellow Gorse flower can be found to be in flower in the winter which ponies will eat to sustain them through quiet months.
The winter bog grasses show an incredible range of colours , from white to beige to brown.
Also enjoy the starkness of a lone oak or beech with its scarecrow limbs splendid in its contrast to a setting winter sun.
It’s all there to enjoy , walk , stop ,pause and enjoy and you’ll come again to the No 1 National Park in Europe.