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The New Forest is a very special place. Its landscape and culture have been shaped over centuries by the animals that graze it, and the people who own and care for them: The New Forest commoners. This website is for anyone interested in the real New Forest, as a living, working landscape. We can all help preserve it for the future, whether by commoning, or by our behaviour as residents or visitors.

The New Forest Commoners Defence Association (CDA) was created in 1909 to defend the interests of commoners. We believe that the more people understand commoning, and the huge public and environmental benefits it brings, the better protected the New Forest will be for future generations to enjoy.

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Latest News

Helping to spread key messages !

Helping to spread key messages !

23rd July 2021

Great to see the new #keepyourdistance signs up and in action :-)  You asked… so we listened! This has been fantastic a joint initiative, with funding from the Verderers and ... READ MORE

Upper Holding Denny Lodge

Upper Holding Denny Lodge

24th June 2021

Forestry England have published the particulars for another Commoners holding. Upper Holding at Denny Lodge is now open for applications. A link to the property particulars and ... READ MORE

New support for the New Forest Commoning Community

New support for the New Forest Commoning Community

21st March 2021

In a new initiative championed by ExxonMobil Fawley, some of their land on the edge of the New Forest, has been rented to to young commoners at a reduced rate. The full press ... READ MORE

ELM and Commons: What does the Future Hold?
© 2018 Tony

ELM and Commons: What does the Future Hold?

9th December 2020

Commoners are welcome to sign up for a free one-hour session on ELM, hosted by the Foundation for Common Land and Federation of Cumbrian Commoners. The webinar will ... READ MORE

Consultation on the allocation of land on the New Forest common for the Basic Payment Scheme

Consultation on the allocation of land on the New Forest common for the Basic Payment Scheme

30th November 2020

Background Up until 2005 subsidies were related to agricultural production, in the case of cattle this was paid through Suckler Cow Premium and Beef Special Premium for ... READ MORE

How do commoners catch their ponies?

How do commoners catch their ponies?

18th November 2020

By Lyndsey Stride Whilst all the ponies on the New Forest are owned, most are unhandled and cannot be easily caught. Commoners are highly skilled in handling these semi-feral ... READ MORE

The New Forest code
New Forest code July 2020

The New Forest code

29th July 2020

The Commoners Defence Association has come together with New Forest organisations to launch a new code to help protect our landscape, livestock and wildlife. The New Forest ... READ MORE

Securing our history & heritage
Driving Dalgetty's cattle through Fordingbridge. © Peter Harrison

Securing our history & heritage

10th July 2020

Fascinating accounts of commoning life have been brought together in a new collection of memories and photographs. Through Our Ancestors’ Eyes features the stories of 20 ... READ MORE

Our Unprotected Landscape
Parking erosion of SSSI in Lockdown

Our Unprotected Landscape

18th May 2020

We’ve all learnt a lot from the coronavirus lockdown. The extent to which people will voluntarily help complete strangers in a time of need has been hugely reassuring when there ... READ MORE

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© 2018 Sally Fear

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© 2018 Sally Fear

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