A brief history of the New Forest. Before the creation of the New Forest National Park in March 2005 and the Norman conquest nearly a millennium before the area was known as Ytene. Meaning “of the Jutes”. The Jutes were an Anglo Saxon tribal group.
William the Conquerer
The “New Forest” or “Nova Foresta” was created in 1079 by William I as a Royal hunting preserve. Much of it is still in the possession of the Crown.
Learn more about William the Conqueror
The Commoners of the New Forest
The New Forest’s “Commoners” are people who own property or land which has certain Forest rights attached. The Right of Pasture right means that they can still let their ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys roam the Forest. These Common Rights stem back to the concessions won by the locals after the invading Norman Kings carved up much of southern England as a royal playground nearly a millennium ago.
Verderers of the New Forest
The Verderers derive their offices, powers and responsibilities from an Act of Parliament in 1877. Their role is to: protect and administer the New Forest’s unique agricultural commoning practices; conserve its traditional landscape, wildlife and aesthetic character, including its flora and fauna, peacefulness, natural beauty and cultural heritage; safeguard a viable future for commoning upon which the foregoing depends.
Smuggling in the New Forest
The New Forest has a history of smuggling. No doubt due to it’s close proximity to hidden coves and pathways from the sea and the English Channel. Learn more about the New Forest Smugglers.
New Forest National Park
The New Forest was designated a National Park in March 2005. Designed to help conserve and protect this special area scientific interest and natural beauty. The National Park covers an area of 220 square miles across the south of England.