Higher Level Stewardship

HLS Achievements

Under the terms of the scheme, up to £800,000 may be spent annually on grazing to support the practice of commoning and £750,000 on wetland restoration.

HLS has funded over 50 projects that include:

  • A grazing payment scheme for commoners
  • Laying piped water to the Beaulieu Road Sales yard
  • Stream restoration at Longwater Lawn and at Akercome and Claypits bottom
  • Bracken harvesting equipment
  • Reflective collars for ponies
  • Protecting pony bloodlines
  • Non-native plant project
  • A census of commoning.

For details of these projects, check out the details and film clips below:

Commoning census

The HLS provided funding for a commoning census in 2011. This was conducted by Dr Jo Ivey and was the third census she has conducted on commoning in the New Forest, providing detailed information on commoning behaviour and perceptions over the last 20 years. This will help to inform future decisions and focus support where it is most needed.

Beaulieu Road Sales Yard

The Beaulieu Road Sales Yard, which plays an essential role in providing an outlet for the sale of New Forest ponies, was upgraded using HLS funding to ensure its long term future and compliance with evolving legislation. Mains water was piped across two miles of open forest using techniques that minimised damage and avoided any long term effects on the delicate Forest ecology. Mains electricity was also brought onto the site and connected.

Invasive plants

The forest has been under attack from non-native plants. These plants have escaped from our gardens during the last century and they are out-competing our native plants. HLS funds have assisted the New Forest Non-Native Plants Project in identifying methods to combat this invasion.


A sophisticated technique using lasers from an aircraft to map the terrain below has been assisted by HLS funding. Lidar or (Light Detection And Ranging), is a technique that is able to peel back the vegetation in the computer to reveal previously unknown landforms below. It has both archaeological and environmental uses that further our knowledge of the New Forest, taking the Forest's past history into the future.

Stream restoration

The stream at Fletchers Thorns was straightened in Victorian times to quickly drain that part of the forest. This canalisation created unseen problems at the time. Through HLS funding the original meanders were identified and reinstated with the straightened section being in filled and returned back to Forest. The stream is now back to its original course and interacting naturally with its floodplain.

  1. Europe's largest agri-environment scheme
  2. HLS Achievements (you are here)


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