close x

Commoning

The New Forest has a proud history of commoning, where commoners release animals onto the Open Forest.

Commoning: an ancient tradition

Grazing by commoners’ animals still shapes and maintains the New Forest we all know and enjoy, making it accessible and very special. Although common rights were once widespread in Britain and Europe, they have been lost in many areas due to the enclosure of common land and the demise of former royal forests. The New Forest remains one of the few extensive lowland commons where rights are still widely practised and a strong commoning culture continues. This section tells the story of commoning, from the animals and rights to the commoners themselves and their close-knit community.
Commoning and you

Commoning and you

Community and Heritage

Community and Heritage

The animals

The animals

New Forest pony

New Forest pony

Neville
Penman
National Park Member

profile

'Please don’t feed or pet the animals; they may look friendly but they can bite and kick.'

Keep up to date on the latest from the National Park

Have you spotted one of these on the back of a lorry yet?

Have you spotted one of these on the back of a lorry yet?

We continue our series of posts by project officers from the Heritage Lottery Fund Our Past, Our Future landscape partnership...

View Blog
Annual Forest art competition opens for entries

Annual Forest art competition opens for entries

Sculptors, painters and photographers are invited to compete to win prizes for their work inspired by the New Forest. The...

View News
Newsletter Image

Sign-up for email updates

Six free walking routes - just sign up for New Forest news Newsletter

Key To Map

Choose the categories you would like to display on the map.