Dog walking in the new forest
I wonder if you can help!
We are visiting the New Forest (Brockenhurst - staying at Cottage Lodge) in mid September for four days. We are bringing our 4 year old Labrador, Holly, as well as our two young children.
Holly loves off lead walks and the plan is to do a one hour dog walk each morning so that when we are visiting dog friendly 'tourist attractions' in the afternoons, she won't mind being kept on her lead too much.
The problem is, Holly isn't brilliant around horses, particularly wild ones.
Do you know of any areas that don't have any ponies/livestock?!
(I realise I'm asking a lot since the new forest is famous for its ponies!!)
Thanks for your question - it does pose a bit of a dilemma to answer as obviously my concerns are for the safety of the ponies, foals and other animals which are around at the moment.
Here's what I suggest.
I think you would be safest if you try to stick to cycle paths which include parts which are gated and fenced off from the ponies or make sure you only ever walk in enclosures which are usually pony free - unless an idiot had left a gate open and the ponies have got in!
Here are a couple of links to cycle tracks which are near to Brockenhurst and which have partly gated off areas.
As well as the safety of the New Forest animals I'm also a bit concerned about Holly's safety too. There are many newborn calves around. If she did get close to one the mothers are very protective, if they have horns, she may be injured.
There is a dog walking code for the New Forest, here's the link.
If you think it may be hard to comply with some of the code then perhaps a longer, expandable lead may solve your problem.
Whatever you decide I hope you all enjoy your 4 day stay in the New Forest.
All the best Christina newforest-life.com