New Forest Northern Commons - Hale Purlieu

Heather 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.

New Forest ponies drink at Dockens Water in the New Forest, Hampshire

Help us care for the countryside

Please be aware that camping is not permitted on our New Forest Commons. You can help us look after the countryside by closing gates behind you, keeping dogs under control, not using barbecues or campfires, taking all rubbish home and leaving no trace of your visit. Thank you.

Hale Purlieu 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.

Nightjars migrate to the New Forest in summer
A nightjar perches on a branch in the New Forest, Hampshire
Nightjars migrate to the New Forest in summer

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

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.

A sunny view of Hale Common in the New Forest, with ferns and leafy trees
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.

Hale Common New Forest

Hale Common in the New Forest National Park 

Find out more about how the National Grid's Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project affects Hale Common in the New Forest.