New Forest Weather Updates and Diary
The New Forest weather is often erratic like many areas of the country but if you are visiting still be very careful near streams and take extra care that you aren't in a bog - they're even harder to spot and can be lethal.
Driving around the forest is currently good at the moment but some verges can be soft in places so use of the forest carparks is recommended.
Please bear in mind when driving on the forest that:
My New Forest weather diary update shows just what the animals have to contend with on a daily basis. In the summertime the New Forest ponies, deer, donkeys, cows,and pigs can have a rest from bleak winter weather. They need good temperatures to build up their strength and condition incase we have a harsh winter ahead.
It was very, very white here in January 2010! Read my Snow 2010 update
The photos show just what the poor ponies have to contend with. I've just come back from walking my dog and most of the ponies are tucked into the gorse bushes. They need to constantly eat to maintain their body temperatures, but they will lose "condition" during this harsh weather.
"Condition" means their body weight, coat condition and general ability to keep warm and healthy. Even plump ponies will lose weight and may be susceptible to chills or pneumonia and may die. The New Forest ponies have a great way of dealing with rain, sleet and snow. They turn their backs to the oncoming weather and with a bit of luck it hits their rumps, curves round along their tummies and past their ears and away without too much ill effect.
When you look at them on a sunny winters day their coats are really quite fluffy. This provides them with insulation. However, heavy rain means the fluffiness goes and the coat flattens. The wet penetrates and the insulation goes. If the rain is combined with a very cold night they may have trouble keeping warm enough and will lose their level of fitness and their survival chances may reduce, especially if they become weak.
It's early February and conditions are very harsh.
Heavy snow has fallen off and on over the last few days. The poor New Forest ponies are having a struggle to keep warm and well fed. Everything is frozen and it's hard to find anything to eat.
The good Commoners (as they should!) supplement the grazing the ponies can find with hay during the harsh winter weather in the New Forest. If a pony starts to lose condition they must be brought in by the Commoner.
Most of the mares are pregnant and will be producing this years foals in the next months, up to May probably. This takes the condition out of the ponies and they need the help of the Commoners feed.
Around this time of the year the New Forest foals will be all over the forest and suddenly the poor little things have to deal with such extreme weather as April snow 2008 they really do have to be hardy, which the New Forest pony is known for, but sometimes a few foals are lost when they succumb to pneumonia or chills and just aren't old enough to fight back.
Nature can be very hard at times.
You can see the contrast in New Forest weather through the year, from these two similar location scenes.
The heather is a glorious purple in this beautiful New Forest valley scene and yet during winter it was a bleak valley full of winter snow totally lacking in colour.
New Forest weather is never dull!
If you need more updates, not necessarily for this area BBC weather can give you all the updates you may need - but not predict a hurricane - oops sorry Micheal Fish!