New Forest Northern Commons - Hale Purlieu

Autumn trees at Hale Purlieu Common, New Forest, Hampshire

On the far north-western side of the New Forest, Hale Purlieu is made up of dry and wet heathland, comprising of mires, bogs, scrub and woodland.

It is one of the only National Trust sites in the New Forest where protected silver studded blue butterflies can be seen feeding amongst the heather, and nightjars are regularly heard 'chrr'-ing during summer evenings.

The site has some of the finest examples of wetland valley mires in the Forest, hosting many rare species of bog flora.

Nightjars, a rare ground-nesting bird, nest on the common near the pond
A nightjar, a rare ground-nesting bird, held by a ranger at night

The word ‘Purlieu’ means ‘deafforested’ or ‘no longer subject to forest law’. This came after 1280 when the common was taken out of the New Forest area; it was reinstated back within the boundary in 1964 under the New Forest Act.

Being on the edge of the Forest, views from the Common’s high points looking south east make the Forest look like an almost endless landscape of gentle valleys, open hill sides and woodland.

Heather at Hale Purlieu Common, New Forest, Hampshire
Walking trail

Hale Purlieu figure of eight walk 

A figure of eight walk through Hale Purlieu, taking in great views across the Common’s valleys and mires.

How to get here

The National Trust car park is situated off Lady's Mile, use postcode SP6 2QZ and grid reference SU 188 176.