The New Forest

Codes of Conduct

New Forest Codes of Conduct

Certain Codes of Conduct have been put into place in the New Forest to help protect the area. These codes are really just common sense and apply to the three main leisure activities that are enjoyed in the area – cyclingdog walking and horse riding.

Anyone actively doing any of these should adhere to the appropriate Code of Conduct – this not only helps protect the flora and fauna of the Forest but also makes a visit to the area safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

The 3 main New Forest Codes of Conduct are given below:

Cycle Code

  • Keep to the Way Marked tracks when cycling in the Forest
  • Slow down and call out a warning when approaching other Forest users. Be courteous and friendly.
  • Take extra care when nearing horse riders. When in a group, all cyclists should pass the horse on the same side.
  • Do not startle ponies, cattle or other wildlife. Go slowly and give them space.
  • Avoid causing obstructions – do not ride more than two abreast. Always ride in single file on narrow roads.
  • Keep well away from any work going on in the Forest.
  • Do not pass any vehicle loading timber until you have been told it is safe to do so.
  • Use the map and plan to be out of the Forest by dusk.

Dog Walking Code

  • If you cannot control your dog, keep it on a lead.
  • A dog out of sight might be out of control. It must not be allowed to disturb or chase livestock or wildlife.
  • Keep your dog to the existing tracks on the Forest when birds nest on the ground (1 March – 31 July). At this time, keep your dog close by or you may be asked by a Forest Ranger or keeper to put it on a lead.
  • Prevent your dog fouling on footpaths or around car parks. If it does foul, remove the waste.
  • Groups of dogs can be intimidating to wildlife and other Forest users. Keep them under control.
  • Be considerate to other Forest users, particularly children at play and picnickers.
  • Keep well away from any work going on in the Forest.
  • Prevent excessive barking from your dog.

Horse Riding Code

  • Keep to the tracks when the ground is soft or muddy.
  • Take an alternative route to avoid soft slopes. Riding straight up and down causes erosion.
  • Avoid widening existing tracks. Keep off re-seeded areas and recently reinstated rides.
  • Vary your route on the Forest to spread the wear and tear.
  • Keep to the tracks when birds are nesting on the ground (1 March – 31 July).
  • Slow down and call out a warning when approaching other Forest users. Be courteous and friendly.
  • Do not build jumps or create lunging areas on the Forest.
  • Keep well away from any work going on in the Forest.
  • Never ride more than two abreast. Limit groups to a maximum of eight horses on the road.
Cycling In The New Forest 1200x800

Cycling In The New Forest

The New Forest is an excellent place to stay in a holiday cottage while exploring the vast area on your bike, and it is ideal for both casual cyclists and those looking to participate in

Read More »
Discovering the Coastline of New Forest

Discovering the Coastline of New Forest

Sunset at the Millennium Lighthouse at Lepe on the shores of the Solent and in the New Forest National Park, UK Photo Credit Julian Gazzard The New Forest is so famous for its free-roaming ponies and

Read More »
New Forest National Park Pony

The Ponies of New Forest

There are so many reasons why you should visit New Forest: from seeing the countryside, the coastline, eating fine food, getting out on a bicycle track or even trying forest bathing.  But one thing that

Read More »