The New Forest is on the south coast of England between the urban areas of Southampton and Bournemouth. Since 2005 the Forest and some of the area around it has become a ‘National Park’, which means that special rules apply to protect the character of the area. The National Park wasn’t welcomed by everybody- there was a lot of argument when it was introduced, with some people claiming it was a waste of money. Time will tell, but there’s no doubt that the Forest needs protection.

The green shaded area on the map below is the extent of the National Park. The boundary of the Forest is not quite the same as the boundary of the National Park, altough they coincide in some places. Each boundary has its own legal significance: some rules and laws apply only within the Forest and not within the rest of the National Park.