Frequently asked questions

Sometimes it may be necessary to telephone us with special enquiries. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions with answers.


What's New:

Golfing Mini-Breaks


TheNew Forest has many Golf Courses. We have put together a selection of new forest accommodations that cater for the Golfing enthusiast and their Families. Many are keen Golfers themselves and I know of at least One professional golfing family that are new forest bed and breakfast hosts.

Updated: December 14, 2011

Some Forest facts:


People of the worldWhat is a commoner? Can anyone become a Commoner? What are the responsibilities of releasing stock into the Forest?
What is Common of Mast, Turbary, Estovers, Marl? They were concessions won from the Crown centuries ago - but are they still practised?

A Commoner is a person who occupies land to which Common Rights in the New Forest are attached. A Right of Common is authority for the occupier of a plot of land (to which Rights are attached), to take specified material or products from somebody else's land. In the context of the New Forest, the principal product is grazing and the owner of the land is the Crown. Land with Common Rights is not confined to the perambulation of the Forest; many "holdings" are in villages on the periphery of the Forest.

Rights of Common of Pasture are attributed to land. It permits depasturing of "commonable" animals on 45,000 acres of Open Forest. Commonable animals are ponies, horned cattle and donkeys. Goats are barred from the Open Forest. By historic practice, chicken and geese may wander in the Forest, but this is not a Common Right.

Those depasturing animals must comply with Verderers' Bye-Laws:
payments to Agisters, receipt of which is recognised by tail marking (cutting) for ponies, and ear tags for cattle;
all stock must be branded to identify the owner (usually near-side saddle area in ponies and the off-side in cattle);
disease control regulations must be complied with and vicious or mischievous animals must not be depastured;
stallions over 2 years old must be approved by the Verderers, they must be registered New Forest ponies and they must be moved on every 4th year to avoid in-breeding.

About 5,000 commonable animals are turned out. The ratio of ponies to cattle is 3:2. Around 130 stallions are turned out in the breeding season. About 500 Commoners use the Right. There is no limit to the number of animals that may be depastured.

...But though the form of the New-forest horse is seldom beautiful; yet as the ornament of a forest scene he is very picturesque. The horse, in his natural state, rough with all his mane about him, and his tail waving in the wind, as he feeds, is always beautiful; but particularly in so wild a scene as this, which he graces exceedingly."
(William Gilpin, 1791)

Common of Mast is the right to turn out pigs in the Forest during the Pannage season. The Pannage season is a period of not less than 60 days, fixed by the Forestry Commission after consultation with the Verderers. Before the 1964 New Forest Act, the Pannage season was fixed at 25 Sep-22 Nov.

Pannage is an ancient practice to fatten pigs before slaughter and salting for the winter. It was additionally useful in the Forest - the pigs turned out ate green acorns and beech mast that are poisonous to cattle and ponies (for example, in 1968, 80 ponies and 40 cattle died eating acorns). The 3,500 acres of Adjacent Commons recently brought within the perambulation are not subject to Pannage dates.

In the 19th century, up to 5,000-6,000 pigs were turned out; currently the numbers are in hundreds - it is a declining Right. Commoners may also turn out breeding sows out all year providing they return to the Commoner's holding at night, and are not a nuisance. This is not a true Right, it is an established practice.

Right of Turbary

This Right allows the Commoner to cut turf for fuel; turves were once cut in tens of thousands each year. Turves were 2' by 1'; to preserve grazing and reduce environmental damage, for every turf cut, two were left. A ticket to cut turf was issued by the Forestry Commission. In 1876, 80 people cut turf, but the Right is no longer practised. The Rights belong to the chimney and hearth of a property, not the land.

Right of Fuelwood (Estovers)

This is the Right to cut wood for fuel. The wood must be burned in the house and the Right applies to the hearth, not land.

The Right is now confined to a few Commoners; most have sold their Rights to the Forestry Commission. The Forestry Commission stacks the wood close to holdings in long stacks. The stacks are labelled into "cords"; a cord is a stack of wood in 4 foot lengths, 4 feet high and 8 feet long. In 1996, 99 properties had allocations totalling 221 cords. The Right is controlled by the Forestry Commission, to inhibit plunder of the Ancient & Ornamental woodland.

Anyone living in a property built before 1850 within the perambulation can pick fallen twigs and branches, providing a vehicle is not required to transport them.

Right of Common of Marl

Marl is a lime-rich clay used to fertilise land; it was also be used for building. The Right of Common of Marl was to dig marl from one of the 23 pits mentioned in the Register of Claims. It is not now exercised; modern fertilisers have made the practice unnecessary and exercise of the Right died out last century. It was confined geologically to the south of the Forest.

Common of Pasture of Sheep

There are Rights to depasture sheep at very few holdings, principally at Godshill and Beaulieu - lands formerly belonging to monastic properties. Exercise of the sheep Rights is uncommon; in the early 1990's 100 sheep were depastured at Godshill for the first time this century - they are now gone. Sheep are depastured on the former Adjacent Commons, principally Penn Common.

Customs (not Rights of Common)

Cutting fern: Fern (bracken) is cut from the end of August. It was originally cut in squares by scythe, but is now "swiped" by machine. Sixty bundles (pooks) made one wagon load. It was a frequent practice until the 1940's and the tracks of the wagons can still be traced on the ground. The bracken had the same utility as straw. It is still cut by a few now as bedding for ponies, but it is principally cut to stop the fronds smothering sweet grass.

Bees: Hives are placed July-September; a fee is payable to Forestry Commission. Old "Bee Gardens" have been described in the Forest - small circular enclosures where hives were placed. Names of locations in the Forest testify to the practice - Hive Garn Bottom, King's Garn Gutter.

Gorse (furze) and holly: They were cut to provide browse in the winter for the ponies and deer. Deer won't eat gorse, but they find cut holly palatable. I have never seen cut gorse, but holly trees are still pollarded to provide winter browse.

Updated: July 16, 2011

Recent Events:

Get your FREE web site

Getting it rightOn our new forest portal site

Free web site and email address with our premiun listing

e.g.  NB* example only

Please go here for details:

Updated: July 02, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Type in your Search Term

  1. How do I Register MY New Forest Accommodation ?
  2. Where can I find you on Search Engines ?
  3. Why doesn't my own web site feature well on Search Engines ?
  4. Who is ?
  5. What is the best way to ensure that I get New Forest tourists for my accommodations ?
  6. When is the High Season in the New Forest ?

How do I Register MY New Forest Accommodation ?

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Where can I find you on Search Engines ?

  • You can find on all of the major Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN by using one of the most commonly searched phrases...
  • new forest bed and breakfast
  • new forest b&b
  • new forest accommodation

Amongst many, many other keywords of course, but just these 3 keywords or phrases are searched, on average, about 100,000 times each and every month. So naturally the better that you place on the first page of these Search Engines, the more visitors you will receive. We receive over 3 million hits each year! A 'hit' is when a visitor lands on a page. (SEE OUR STATISTICS HERE) Not to be confused with a visitor who may well 'hit' several pages in their search for the right accommodation. Which means some of which could be someone looking at your ad. placement or listing.

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Why doesn't my own web site feature well on Search Engines ?

  • There are many reasons for this but to put it simply, Google's algorithms get more and more complicated every day and the criteria for placing well on search engines is not just a simple case of "who has the most links" anymore. There are many other webmasters out there all trying to achieve those top positions and in the end there is just no substitute for experience. Our webmasters since 1997 have a team of people with experience of building search friendly web sites. The main webmaster there has over 20 years of experience alone on the internet, working with large companies such as; Microsoft, Chromium, OriginOil and several other world leaders in technologies as a consultant marketing specialist.
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Who is ?

Along with about 70 other web sites we are dedicated internet specialists and are local resident in the New Forest (Sway).

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What is the best way to ensure that I get New Forest tourists for my accommodations ?

  • One of the best ways is to advertise with us of course, but we would also recommend placing listings on other well positioned New Forest portal sites (Budget permitting) as this will increase the likelihood of being seen and found. Simply do a search for; new forest bed and breakfast on (the best) or and look at the top 5 positions. You should promote yourself on as many of those top 5 portal sites as you budget allows. Do not bother with sites below the top 5 because they do not offer a good return because most surfers (i.e. searchers) will have found what they want in the top 5.
  • Look to see how many "other accommodations" they promote. The more accommodations that they promote the less likely you are to be found. Also a prominent listing with a top portal site will give you good returns.
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When is the High Season in the New Forest ?

  • Typically any High Season is during the School Holidays.
  • But... we are lucky here in the New Forest because our visitors comprise of a high proportion of explorer that has already sat on the nest and have grown-up Sons and Daughters. This extends our "Season" to include the Autumn when the forest is particularly beautiful and early Springtime when the flowers are starting to bloom.
  • So with good advertising with high ranking *specialised New Forest portal sites, you can expect to see between 50% to 75% occupancy. NB* the percentage of occupancy heavily depends upon the amount of advertising that you do and more importantly... who with.

*Why Specialised New Forest? Every visitor to these sites are looking for New Forest accommodations. Rather than e.g. "a general bed and breakfast portal site" which would naturally include all areas of the UK and would not necessarily be a good usage of your advertising budget.

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