New Forest Northern Commons - Rockford and Ibsley

Two male volunteers stand by old brickwork amidst autumn bracken

Climb to the top of a hill or simply stroll through wild open landscapes at Rockford Common, and take in extraordinary scenery and spectacular vistas at Ibsley.

Explore hidden and gentle valley systems, braided with mires and bogs, and exposed plateaus of heather dotted with character pine plantations, such as Robin Hood’s clump and Whitefield.

Paths wind though ancient woodland edges, eventually leading up through gorse and heather to reveal views of Cranborne Chase and the Purbecks of Dorset.

Both commons are steeped in history, from their traditional pastoral management by the livestock and local people, to World War Two military history revealed by old bunkers, rifle butts and gun emplacements.

Most recently, their industrial past can be seen as grassy embankments and bowls as a result of gravel extraction.

A group of pine trees atop a hill known as Robin Hood's clump at Iblsey Common, in the New Forest
Walking trail

Walk to the Huff Duff 

A walk from Ibsley to Rockford Commons, taking in military history with a visit the Huff Duff (an old directional station) and lots of opportunities to spot exciting New Forest wildlife, such as lizards, butterflies and predatory birds.

How to get here

Use the National Trust car park at Rockford’s sandpit car park (near Moyles Court School), postcode BH24 3NA and grid reference SU 163 083.