Autumn in the New Forest

Autumn trees against a bright blue sky at Rockford Common in the New Forest, Hampshire

The countryside of the New Forest transforms over autumn, with great swathes of rich colours and crisp atmospheric mornings.

The heather across the New Forest looks beautiful in September, with vibrant pinks and purples contrasting with green bracken and yellowing silver birch leaves.

Ancient oaks, beech and sweet chestnut trees canopies display rich autumnal hues of gold and red, this contrasted with evergreen species such as holly and pine, create a feast for eyes.

Fungi start to emerge from early September, littering the Forest floor with a diverse array of colours and mystical shapes. To help conserve fungi we do not allow unauthorised picking.

Fly agaric fungi on the forest floor

Fascinating New Forest fungi 

There are approximately 2,700 species of fungi in the New Forest, many of which are rare and endangered. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they’re also a vital part of the New Forest’s unique ecology.

As the acorns begin to drop from oak branches, pigs are released onto our Northern Commons to gobble them up – an ancient commoning right known as pannage, this protects the other livestock from eating acorns, which can cause illness.

Mist begins to hang in small valleys and ponies can be seen huddling up together for warmth.

So treat your senses this Autumn with a visit to the New Forest and enjoy a leaf-crunchingly good walk!