The New Forest, located in England's Hampshire district, is one of the oldest nature preserves in the world, set aside by William the Conqueror for deer hunting in 1079. It covers a wide area and is a common destination for U.K. residents as well as international visitors. Its trails are relaxing and peaceful and home to a wide variety of wildlife, including roaming domestic ponies, and lots of birds and small mammals. These are some of the New Forest's most famous residents.
The most famous residents of the New Forest, deer are still seen in substantial members. The largest and most iconic is the red deer, and its population is generally kept to only 100 deer. They are more commonly seen in Northern England and Scotland, but this isolated population can easily be identified by its distinctive bark, or call. They are most generally found in the Brockenhurst area. Another, more common deer found in the New Forest is the fallow deer, which, while shy, is easily spotted by quiet walkers. During the summer, it is easily identified by the distinctive white spots on its flanks.
The southern climate of the New Forest means that all of England's reptiles and amphibians can be found here, including one of England's few poisonous residents, the adder. The zig-zag pattern that runs the length of the snake's back makes it easily identifiable. It can often be seen lying out on paths, particularly on pavement, warming itself during the summer months. But it is shy and retiring and will generally retreat from loud noises. Approximately five people a year are bitten by adders in the New Forest, but the snake rarely delivers enough venom to be anything more than painful. Medical attention should be sought immediately.
Badgers are shy, so you must often make an effort to spot them. They live in burrows, or setts, and usually only come out to forage at dusk and dawn. Locals and rangers may be able to direct you to a likely location where you can hide and watch. They tend to walk and re-walk the same small, local network of paths, which makes finding their burrows easier. These distinctive looking creatures are stocky and low to the ground and can reach almost three feet in length. They have a distinctively striped black-and-white face. Their bodies are typically silver but may be brown or gray.
Article Written By Beau Prichard
Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.