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The animals

Probably the most well-known fact about the New Forest is that it is home to thousands of free-roaming animals.

As you travel across the National Park you will see ponies, cattle, donkeys, pigs and sheep. They could be grazing on gorse, wandering through villages or even crossing roads. That is why it is so important to drive carefully in the Forest and stay alert at all times.

The animals all belong to people called commoners, who have the right to turn out their livestock onto the Open Forest.

In this section you can find out more about each animal.

Then find out how you can help protect the animals by reducing animal accidents and not feeding or petting them.

National Park Member


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

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