Google Street View launches for New Forest tracks

trekker at hurst castle

Published Wednesday 11 October 2017

Miles of the New Forest’s approved off-road paths can now be seen from a new perspective using Google Street View.

The partnership between Google and the New Forest National Park Authority saw staff members and Forestry Commission volunteers photograph the Forest’s top tracks using the Google Trekker.

Browse the data by dropping the yellow man in Google Maps.

The Trekker backpack is four feet high, weighs 22 kilograms and is fitted with a 15-angle lens camera that takes 360-degree pictures every 2.5 seconds. The technology enables walking routes to be captured and digitised in the same way Google Street View enables users to see 360-degree images of streets and roads.

In total, 102 miles of approved main tracks were photographed during summer 2016 and the images can now be accessed online through Google Maps.

Iconic areas that have been ‘Trekked’ include:

  • Blackwater Arboretum and the Forest’s tallest tree
  • Hurst Castle, a 16th century fort established by Henry VIII
  • Beaulieu River
  • Bolderwood waymarked walks
  • Knightwood Oak, the largest Oak tree in the Forest that is more than 500 years old.

As well as being available on Google Maps, the interactive tours will be embedded onto the National Park Authority’s walking and cycling website. This will allow people to explore their route before setting off, check it is suitable for them and keep to the main tracks to avoid disturbing wildlife.

Jim Mitchell, Interpretation and Outreach Manager at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The trekker footage will help people plan their time outdoors in the National Park. The routes are carefully selected so that they both visit some of the best of what the New Forest has to offer and guide people to use approved rights of way, footpaths and more robust tracks.’


(Above: remains of Beaulieu World War Two airfield)

Forestry Commission Volunteer Ranger Trevor Arbery helped to trek several miles of tracks and said: ‘I thought as a cartographer that it would be very interesting to see how the routes compare with the Ordnance Survey data. I felt that Acres Down near Lyndhurst was my favourite location as the panorama from there is spectacular.’

The launch of the Trekker data is being celebrated with an online competition. People are invited to screenshot the Street View image of their favourite spot and send it to Newforestnpa on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a sentence about why the place is special to them. Everyone who takes part has the chance to win one of three New Forest walking route packs.  

The Trekker footage should not be used to check the up to date status of Forest tracks. For the latest information on closures visit www.forestry.gov.uk/newforest-closures

View the Google Trekker photos and browse the best New Forest walks and bike rides at routes.newforestnpa.gov.uk.

- Ends –

Notes to photo editor:

Trekking at Hurst Castle, Milford on Sea.

A selection of Google Street View panoramas are available at www.google.com/streetview/#new-forest-national-park-uk

Notes to Editor

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Officer
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: matt.stroud@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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