Animals Of The New Forest

 Animals Of The New Forest

As well as being a beautiful ancient landscape the New Forest has important ecological value due to the areas of lowland habitats, that have been lost elsewhere. The area contains many important lowland habitat such as deciduous woodland, dry heaths, valley bogs, and wet heaths. The area also contains rare wildlife and wet heaths which are a home for many Animals of the New Forest and rare plants, such as marsh gentian Gentiana pneumonanthe and Marsh Clubmoss Lycopodiella inundata. Also species of Sundew grow in the New Forest, and it is also the habitat of many types of insect.

There are many birds seen in the New Forest which include:

Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), Common Raven (Corvus corax), Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) Dartford Warbler (Silvia undata), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata), European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus), Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo), European Stonechat (Saxicola rubecola), Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus), Meadow Pipit (Anthus trivialis), Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Stock Pigeon (Columba oenas), Tree Pipit (Anthus sylvestris), Woodlark (Lullula arborea),Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix).

A picture of a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in the snow

picture of a Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
A picture of a Swan gliding gracefully by
A picture of a New Forest Mute Swan.
A picture of a Heron Roosting in a Tree in the New Forest
Heron Ardea Cinera, Roosting in a Tree in the New Forest

 Birds occasionally seen include the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and Red Kite (Milvus milvus), wintering Great Grey Shrike (Lanius exubitor) and migrating Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) and Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).

A picture of a Frog in the New Forest (Rana temporaria)
A Frog in the New Forest (Rana Temporaria)
A picture of a Lizard in the New Forest
A Lizard in the New Forest

 

A picture of a Peacock Butterfly in the New Forest (Inachis io)
Peacock Butterfly in the New Forest (Inachis io)

Commoners’ cattle, ponies and donkeys roam freely throughout the open heath and also along many New Forest roads and much of the woodland, and it is largely their grazing that maintains the open character of the Forest. They are often seen in the Forest villages and lanes where motorists must look out for them.

The New Forest Pony is one of the indigenous horse breeds of the British Isles, and is one of the New Forest’s most famous attractions many of the Forest ponies are of this breed, but there are also some Shetlands and their cross-breeds.

A picture of a New Forest Pony
New Forest Pony
A picture of a New Forest Pony with Foal
New Forest Pony with Foal

There are Cattle of various breeds, usually Galloways and their cross-breeds, but various other hardy types such as British Whites, Dexters, Kerrys, Herefords, Highlands. The New Forest was the original home of the Wessex Saddleback Pig which is now extinct in Britain with a Small number surviving in Australia and New Zealand, currently the pigs used for Pannage are a mixture of breeds.

A picture of Hereford Cattle in the New Forest
Hereford Cattle in the New Forest

There are currently four species of wild deer that live in the New Forest the Fallow, Roe, Japanese Sika and the Red Deer. These are usually rather shy and tend to stay out of sight when people are around, but are much more active at night, even when a car drives past so care is advised.

A picture of Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) in the New Forest
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)
A picture of Roe Deer resting in the New Forest
Roe Deer resting

Fallow Deer in the New Forest

A picture of a Hedgehog in the New Forest Wildlife Park
Hedgehog in the New Forest Wildlife Park

There are some European Otter (Lutra lutra) along some watercourses, as well as the introduced American Mink (Neovison vison).

These animals are difficult to see in the wild, however in the New Forest Wildlife Park there is a variety of Otter species and other animals which can be seen close up.

A picture of Otters at play in the New Forest Wildlife Park
Otters at play in the New Forest Wildlife Park

Otters were once common in the New Forest however they are now difficult to see in the wild as they are rare and secretive animals, however a few years back I was very lucky to see a wild Otter in the New Forest by a river. However if you wish to see Otters close up, a visit to the brilliant New Forest Wild Life Park is well worth a visit.

 © New Forest Handbook. All rights reserved.