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Guided wildlife tours

Guided wildlife tours

We offer a wide variety of guided wildlife tours in and around the New Forest to suit all ages and abilities, including regular scheduled walks and private bespoke tours. We also offer seasonal walks, focussing on topics as diverse as bird song, bats, and fungi, as well as wildlife identification workshops and shorter walks aimed at kids and families (including our popular Halloween walks).

We have a 5* Trip Advisor rating, see our latest reviews here

Welcome to the New Forest Walks

Our scheduled ‘Welcome to the New Forest’ walks depart from main Forestry England car parks across the New Forest and serve as a great introduction to the New Forest. These shorter walks generally take place in the afternoon and are designed to take in a mix of habitats while discussing all aspects of the New Forest, from its rich and varied history to management and conservation, and of course the important role of free-ranging livestock in making the New Forest the wonderful place it is today. Our Welcome walks are 1.5 hours and the cost for adults is £12.50, with children under ten going free.


New Forest Discovery Walks

Our scheduled New Forest 'Discovery' walks depart from or close to the main hubs of Brockenhurst, Burley, Lyndhurst and Lymington (see map here), and provide an excellent introduction to the New Forest and an opportunity to see fantastic scenery and wildlife, while learning about the special qualities of the New Forest and responsible recreation. All hubs have convenient parking and toilet facilities, a wide range of accommodation, cycle hire and café options, and Brockenhurst and Lymington are also accessible by train. Our Discovery routes all take approximately 3 hours, but we apply a flexible approach depending on weather conditions and what wildlife appears! Costs for adults range from £17.50 - £20 per person, with children aged ten and under going free.

"Our walk with Marcus around Lymington Marshes yesterday was great. Lots of interesting snippets of information about the area and clues to identification of species. Of course, the weather was glorious too, and so thoroughly enjoyed". Karen and David, Sept 2020.

New Forest Explorer Walks

Our scheduled New Forest 'Explorer' Walks are typically about 5-8 km long and 2-3 hours duration, and provide opportunities to explore and learn about some of the New Forest's special habitats and species through the seasons. If you want to explore parts of the the New Forest you haven't visited previously, or want to learn more about seasonal wildlife on a regular route, then these walks are for you! Costs for adults typically range from £12.50 - £17.50 per person, with children aged ten and under going free.

"Thank you for leading this morning’s Fungi Explorer Walk. It was such an interesting experience with a wonderful variety of fungi and other insights into that area of the New Forest. Birds, butterflies and history too. I really enjoyed it all. Easy to book and clear instructions for everything". Sheila,  Oct 2020.

Beaulieu River Boat Tours

Operating out of Bucklers Hard on the Beaulieu River our boat tours give the rare opportunity to explore this beautiful and secluded  corner of the New Forest. Most trips operate at low tide when the exposed shoreline is bustling with feeding waders and wildfowl, while the river is home to a broad range of species. The trips offer a good chance of seeing White-tailed Eagle and Grey and Harbour Seals, while enjoying the stunning scenery of the Beaulieu River. Cost for adults and children is typically £35, we will occasionally run longer trips across to Newtown Harbour on the Isle of Wight. Tea/Coffee and cakes are provided - note there are no toilets facilities on board.

"A truly incredible outing and a definite to do again and again!! Thank you Marcus!!" Wendy, Jan 2022

New Forest Private and Bespoke Guided Tours

In addition to the scheduled walks above, we also offer private and bespoke walking and cycling tours at competitive prices (on foot or by bike), which are suitable for individuals, families or small groups - if you are interested in a private tour, then please phone or email for further details.

"Very many thanks for such an enjoyable, wonderful and inspiring morning - it was like having a completely new dimension added to our patch! Really look forward to following Wild New Forest in the future, and hope we might organise a similar walk again in the future". Andrew and Jenny, Apr 2021.

All of our wildlife walks are at a relaxed pace, but guests will need to have a reasonable level of fitness in order to complete the advertised route in the allocated time. Dogs and children are welcome on our walks, subject to the terms and conditions, which are available at the bottom of the page.

Our upcoming tour schedule can be found here and can be booked via our online booking pages here. Joining instructions, including directions to the meeting point for your tour, will be provided by email once your booking is confirmed and normally within 48 hours of the tour date.


Why choose Wild New Forest?

  • All tours are led by the Wild New Forest Directors, Russell Wynn and Marcus Ward, who have over 50 years experience in wildlife survey, monitoring and photography in the New Forest National Park; click here to find out more

  • All of our New Forest tours are operated under Forestry England permit, and are designed to minimise impacts on protected habitats while maximising opportunities to enjoy great scenery and encounter exciting wildlife

  • We are members of GO New Forest and are experienced tour leaders and public speakers, with full public liability insurance, outdoor first aid training, and recent advanced DBS checks

  • Wild New Forest CIC is a not-for-profit company, so by supporting us you are also supporting frontline wildlife research and conservation work in the New Forest; click here for examples of our research and see our blog here for details of our recent activities

  • We work with Forestry England, the New Forest National Park Authority and other forest organisations to support responsible recreation in the New Forest. We therefore promote and ask our clients to follow the New Forest code below:


What will I need to bring?

  • For both walking and cycling tours you will need appropriate clothing, ideally using a layering system with a light base layer, warm mid-layer, and waterproof shell. For walking tours, we recommend walking boots or sturdy trail shoes, and note that some winter routes may require wellies or waterproof boots (see route details on the booking page to check)

  • In bright, sunny conditions at any time of year we recommend using sunscreen, wearing suitable headwear, and reducing glare with sunglasses. In winter, gloves and a hat will help to reduce wind chill.

  • You will need sufficient drinks and snacks for a two- or three-hour tour; there are no facilities on the route, so we recommend bringing at least 0.5L of water and enough food for a couple of snack stops.

  • Binoculars are recommended, but don’t worry if you don’t have any as there will still be plenty of wildlife to see and hear at close range! Keen birders may wish to bring a scope for the Lymington walk.

  • For cycle tours you will need a mountain or gravel bike with suitable tyres for loose gravel trails. Please contact us for recommended bike hire outlets in all four of the New Forest hubs where we operate tours. Helmets are compulsory - spare inner tubes, puncture repair kits and basic bike tools are strongly recommended. Dogs are not permitted on cycle tours. 


Terms and conditions

  1. Clients must disclose any pertinent medical information at the time of booking, to ensure their safety in potentially remote areas of the New Forest where help may be more than 30 minutes away; this includes asthma, diabetes and heart/lung conditions. Clients must also be sufficiently fit to complete the advertised tour within the advertised time.

  2. We will automatically delete all clients’ medical data after 21 days. Clients retain the right to have their contact and other personal details removed from our records after 21 days in line with GDPR requirements - any retained data will be held securely in line with GDPR requirements, used for internal Wild New Forest purposes only, and solely for the purpose of improving future tour provision (note that Wild New Forest CIC is registered with the Information Commissi0ner's Office).

  3. Clients can cancel bookings up to 48 hours for a walking tour and 7 days before a boat tour commences and will be offered the opportunity to rebook or be fully refunded. If clients cancel within 48 hours (7 days for a boat trip) of their tour commencing, we will offer the opportunity to rebook or will endeavour to sell the available slots in order to offer a full refund, however, clients will not be eligible for a refund if both of these options are not possible.  

  4. We will usually cancel tours if weather conditions are forecast to be potentially dangerous or unsuitable for viewing wildlife, e.g. Met Office weather warnings for high winds, lightning storms, and/or heavy precipitation (rain, sleet, snow, hail). We will not cancel tours in the event of light rain or showers, so waterproofs and suitable headwear are strongly recommended! In the event of cancellations, we will endeavour to contact clients asap using the details provided. 

  5. The New Forest is a working forest, and we monitor the latest Forestry England updates regarding car park and trail closures (e.g. due to pony drifts or tree felling operations) to minimise disruption to our tours. However, we reserve the right to alter tour routes and meeting places at short notice due to circumstances beyond our control and will endeavour to contact clients asap using the details provided.

  6. Dogs are welcome on our tours but must be kept under control and on a lead at all times (with respect for social distancing measures). Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs, so please bring you own poo bags and dispose of them responsibly!

  7. Children are welcome on our tours but must be accompanied by an adult, capable of walking or cycling the advertised distance (or being carried as appropriate) and kept under control at all times (with respect for social distancing measures).

  8. We reserve the right to refuse clients who deliberately breach the New Forest code or any of the conditions listed above

  9. Disclaimer: Wild New Forest maintain an up-to-date risk assessment for all guided walking and cycling tours and apply a consistent, professional and evidence-based approach to client’s health and safety. However, clients agree to participate in Wild New Forest tours at their own risk and are responsible for their own health and safety, including provision of suitable prescriptions for medical conditions. In addition, Wild New Forest does not accept liability for any loss, theft or damage to personal property or effects.

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