Farmland

New Forest Land Advice Service personnel

Farming facts

  • Approximately one quarter of the National Park is farmland.
  • Of this just under 60% is permanent grassland used for grazing livestock.
  • Just over a third of all farms within the National Park keep cattle.  Most of these cattle graze grass during the summer and are housed in the winter and fed a range of foods such as maize or grass silage, hay and rolled cereals which will also have been grown within the New Forest.
  • Some of these cattle, approximately 2,500, will be turned out onto the Open Forest during the summer months, where they graze the heather grassland.
  • Most cattle reared in the New Forest are beef cattle.  There are very few dairy farms remaining within the National Park.
  • About 20% of the farmland is used for growing arable crops.
  • These are mainly wheat, winter barley, grain maize and oilseed rape.
  • Arable crops tend to be grown in the south of the National Park on the better drained and more fertile soils.
  • New Forest farmers also produce pigs, poultry, sheep, salad and vegetable crops, soft fruit, flower and nursery stock.
  • Over half of the farms within the New Forest are smaller than 5 hectares (about the size of 10 football pitches).  Many of these will be managed by commoners who use the Open Forest for additional grazing.
  • A small percentage of farms (approximately 3%) are over 100 hectares, these are mainly large private estates of which there are several within the National Park.
  • Just under 5% of the total population of the National Park is employed in agriculture.
  1. Farmland
  2. Farming facts (you are here)

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