Autumn colour 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. It's a real feast for the eyes next to evergreen species such as holly and pine.

Fungi start to emerge from early September, littering the New 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...

View of autumn heath dotted with silver birch and gorse

Autumn colour walks in the New Forest 

Discover a wealth of autumn colour with a walk in the New Forest: golden leaves, purple heather and fascinating fungi. We've got three very different downloadable trails for you to try, drawing you into some of the Forest's fascinating history, and magnificent ancient landscapes. We encourage everyone to observe social distancing measures while they visit, and follow the Countryside Code to help protect this precious landscape.