New Forest National Park

New Forest National Park, c.220 sq mi (570 sq km), Hampshire and Wiltshire, S England. Lying mainly in the New Forest dist., SW Hampshire, between the cities of Bournemouth and Southampton, it is roughly bounded by the River Avon, the Solent, Southampton Water, and the River Blackwater. William I organized the area in 1079 as a royal forest to provide revenue and timber. After 1877 the Court of Verderers administered the forest as a public park, and in 2005 the national park was established. The wooded areas contain mostly oak and beech trees as well as extensive tracts of bog and heath. Some 34,000 people live in small towns and villages within the park, and about one fourth of the land in the park is cultivated. Pigs and cattle are raised, and the park is famed for its wild ponies.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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