he New Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire. It was proclaimed a royal forest by William the Conqueror, featuring in the Domesday Book.
Commoners’ cattle, ponies and donkeys roam throughout the open heath and much of the woodland, and it is largely their grazing that maintains the open character of the Forest. They are also frequently seen in the Forest villages, where home and shop owners must take care to keep them out of gardens and shops.
In Autumn pigs are released to roam, where they eat fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts or other nuts, which can prove toxic to the ponies if not ‘harvested’ by the pigs.
Distance 41 miles