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Ancient royal hunting forest
Hatfield Forest is the best surviving example in Britain of an almost complete Royal Hunting Forest. It has seen many owners, from Kings to commonors. No other Forest on earth evokes the atmosphere of a medieval hunting Forest so completely.
Hatfield Forest is a managed landscape, which has been created by centuries of human intervention. The traditional woodland management techniques of coppicing, pollarding and grazing are continued today. It is home to over 3,500 species of wildlife, some of which are rare and threatened. The ancient trees, some over 1000 years old, provide the perfect habitat for some of the Forest's rarest insects, lichens and fungi.
Whether you want somewhere for the children to run off energy or a place for quiet reflection, you will find your own special place in Hatfield Forest.
In the winter, to reduce damage to the Forest, car parking is limited to the hard standing area only. The car parks will be closed when they reach capacity.
Five free things to do
- Try our new Hatfield Forest smartphone app. Download it before your visit or borrow a tablet device from our shop
- Go geocaching - follow GPS coordinates to find hidden treasure
- Use twigs and sticks to build a secret den in the trees
- Borrow a tracker pack and explore the Forest - ask at the shop
- Stretch your legs on a walk - enjoy the many paths through the Forest