Hale Common in the New Forest National Park

Hale Common New Forest

The National Trust looks after five commons of international ecological importance in the New Forest. As Europe’s largest conservation charity we work hard to manage our land - to maintain the health and beauty of the countryside and its wildlife. The New Forest is no exception – it is a unique and very special landscape, enjoyed by millions of people every year, and close to the hearts of local people and the Commoners who help manage the land with their grazing livestock.

In 2015, National Grid consulted us on its proposed Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project with discussions then continuing. The scheme funded by Ofgem proposed to reduce the visual impact of overhead power lines at four nationally important landscapes in England and Wales, restoring them to their original appearance by burying the cables and removing the pylons. One of the places identified was the National Trust’s Hale Purlieu in the New Forest. 

In March 2019, National Grid announced that the VIP project at Hale Purlieu was to be paused. We now await further information on the future direction it may take.

For further information on National Grid’s Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project in the New Forest please visit the dedicated website

Electricity pylons on Hale common
Lowland heath dotted with yellow gorse and featuring a row of electricity pylons.
Electricity pylons on Hale common

We will continue with our usual land and habitat management activities that we undertake on Hale Purlieu. These are set out in the Higher Level Stewardship agreement that we have with Natural England. It also covers our other sites in the New Forest and we have been working to it since 2009. It sets out how best to look after the habitats through activities like controlled burning, removal of undesirable non-native trees and shrubs and protection of historic features.