The New Forest is a special place, but its future can’t be taken for granted. There are all sorts of pressures that threaten it. For example, since Victorian times there have been constant battles to protect the beautiful old trees from being cut down for timber.
Some of those older pressures have eased now, but new ones take their place.
One worry now is that the commoning way of life will become less and less attractive, with fewer animals turned out to graze the Forest. As the older commoners retire or pass away, who will carry-on the tradition?
Here are some of the changes affecting the Forest…
When I’m Gone
Lucie Rowe is a fifth generation commoner. She remembers her mum worrying about the outlook for the Forest.
There were few rules and regulations when Bob Andrews used to sell ponies at Beaulieu Road. Nowadays there’s all sorts of red tape to confront a would-be commoner.
One commoner recalls when cars the New Forest were such a novelty that local children would sit by the main road for the excitement of seeing one drive by. As a child she would hold-up the cars on the A31 while the family cows crossed it. Today the main roads through the Forest are often choked with traffic, and car accidents kill at least one animal every week.