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The New Forest’s unspoilt natural beauty is one of the things that people value most about the area.

Sadly, a minority of people deliberately throw food packaging from their cars, allow pieces of plastic to blow from open-backed vehicles, leave litter in parking areas and even deliberately dump quantities of waste materials if they think they can get away with it.

Glass bottles are also thrown onto verges or left after a picnic. These could start a damaging wild fire and can, when broken, lame livestock or pets.

Please also remember that your food and litter could harm the ponies and donkeys, so please take your litter home if bins are full.

The estimated cost of litter removal in the New Forest is over £250,000 per year.

We work closely with New Forest District Council and other local organisations including Hampshire County Council, Forestry England, National Trust and the Verderers through a Joint Litter Working Group. Regular campaigns and key messages about litter are promoted through school assemblies, posters, literature, social media and events to highlight the impacts of litter including locally specific effects on the New Forest’s free roaming ponies and cattle, wildlife and marine environment.

Linking with national promotion by Keep Britain Tidy, there is an annual New Forest Spring Clean, a joint initiative which encourages and enables local communities and individuals to help litter pick specific locations, where this is agreed to be safe. These activities take place within villages and on the coast as well as in the open Forest and usually coincide with litter picking by contractors on most of the cross-Forest roads ahead of Easter. We are grateful that some individuals and local groups also arrange litter picks throughout the year.

As the Principal Litter Authority for most of the National Park, New Forest District Council (NFDC) has responsibility for the collection and disposal of litter from public spaces in the National Park. Wiltshire Council is similarly responsible for the part of the National Park that lies within Wiltshire.

The Litter Authorities litter pick road verges using trained contractors and liaise with Highway Authorities about the timing of this in relation to verge cutting. NFDC also litter picks the A31, involving night-time working and road closures and therefore significant costs. Forestry England (FE) is responsible for removing litter from the open Forest (Crown Land) and its car parks – and FE staff liaise with NFDC to arrange litter picks of road verges through this area. Other landowners have responsibilities for litter on their land and illegal activities are followed up by the Police and Environment Agency.

Reporting litter and fly-tipping

If you see fly-tipping or excessive litter in the New Forest, please report it, using the following:

On the Open Forest or Forest car parks call Forestry England on 0300 067 4600.

On New Forest District Council land or car parks, and on roadsides, report online or call 023 8028 5000. 

On Wiltshire Council land or car parks please use the online reporting tool.

Responsibility for clearing excessive litter and fly tipping depends on who owns the land and in which district or county it is.

Watch this video produced by Forestry England about what we and our partners are doing to tackle fly-tipping in the Forest.

Can you spend some time litter picking in the New Forest? Find out how you can help

Head of Environment and Rural Economy


'To avoid damage and obstruction, please park only in designated car parks, not on a verge or in gateways.'

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