New Forest Background

A pastoral system existed prior to the mention of the New Forest in the Domesday book of 1089. The lands were then acquired by the Crown as a Royal Forest but continued to support Royal hunting of deer, but the coexisted with the Crowns requirements. A succession of Acts in the 18th and 19th centuries permitted the Crown to enclose areas of the Forest for plantations at the expense of land available to the commoners for depasturing their animals. The long conflict arose between the Crown and commoners. Today the rights of the Forestry Commission and those of the Commoners are regulated by The New Forest Acts 1877-1970.

More detailed information is available under these headings: