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Wild Camping

Wild Camping In The New Forest National Park

Wild Camping can be a bit of a misnomer in this day and age with the definition of wild camping being open to some interesting interpretations.

Perhaps a hundred or so years ago true wild camping was being practised when camping under the stars literally meant quite that, often with little more than a blanket and a good coat to keep you warm and if you were lucky a makeshift "bivvy" to keep out the wind or rain.

In modern times wild camping has "evolved" with lightweight and warm equipment and tents but the thought of just picking up your gear and trekking of into the woods or mountains and pitching wherever you please still appeals to an ever increasing audience although the practise can be illegal depending where you choose to do it.

Within the New Forest National Park the practise of true wild camping is unfortunately illegal and subject to number of byelaws. While this may seem unfair to the true outdoors person it is for the main in the interest of the habitat and wildlife within the area.

On many occasions in the past forest fires have been started inadvertently and in the heights of summer these fires spread very quickly due to the make up of the forest. These fires can be quite devastating and can also be a threat to other campers as well.

Its not all bad news however, and the Forestry Commission does have a number of dedicated campsites where you can practise the art of "mild" camping. Not as exhilarating as its cousin but you still have the option of camping wild (with out facilities if you wish) except you are on a designated campsite instead.

From one of the designated camp sites you can still pitch your tent and wander off into the forest to explore nature at its best, the plus side is of course you don't have to lug your camping gear round with you.

There are actually 10 camping and caravan sites in and around the forest to choose from some of which are more suitable for families or "casual Campers" as they have facilities and the others for us modern day wild campers prepared to rough it with little or no facilities.

Casual: Ashurst, Hollands Wood and Holmsley (Bransgore).

Mild: Roundhill and Ocknell.

Wild: Aldridge Hill, Denny Wood, Matley Wood, Longbeech, Setthorns (open all year).

Visit our New Forest Campsites page for more information.

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