Forest Rights

Commoners of the New Forest are those who occupy land or property to which attaches one or more rights over the Forest. These rights are:

  • Common of pasture: commonable animals – ponies, cattle, donkeys and mules – are turned out into the Open Forest;
  • Common of pasture for sheep: although some of the large estates have this right, it is infrequently exercised;
  • Common of mast: the right to turn out pigs in the autumn to devour the acorns – this provides food for the pigs and reduces the threat to ponies and cattle from the poisonous acorns;
  • Estovers (Fuelwood): the free supply of a stipulated amount of firewood to certain properties;
  • Common of marl: the right to dig clay to improve agricultural land – this right is no longer exercised;
  • Common of turbary: the right to cut peat turves for the Commoner’s personal use- this right is no longer exercised;

The most important right is the Common of Pasture. Those who wish to exercise this right must apply to the Verderers’ Clerk who will confirm the existence of the right and allocate a brand for the animals. Once branded, they may be turned out into the Forest upon payment of a Marking Fee to the local Agister.


Marking Fees

Ponies, Cattle & Donkeys on the Forest £24.00
Ponies & Donkeys on the Commons £12.00
Cattle on the Commons £3.00
Sheep on the Forest £8.00
Sheep on the Commons £4.00
Pigs on the Forest £4.00
Pigs on the Commons £2.00

Atlas of Rights

The Verderers hold the Atlas of Forest Rights. The Atlas may be inspected at the office by appointment with the Clerk to the Verderers. To undertake an inspection, please contact the Verderers’ Office.

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Information for Solicitors

The Court has issued the following guidance on searches for Solicitors: Searches of the Atlas of Forest Rights - A guide - DEC 2014.doc If you are carrying out a search to discover whether or not property in the…

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