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Blog: New Forest Donkeys

Updated: Nov 26, 2022

Where are the best places to spot New Forest donkeys?


!Right outside our house at our holiday let for you

Step out of the drive across the cattle grid and they may well be right there.. or go up around the corner to the common. They are also often at our local pub The Foresters Arms (see last photo)

Found throughout the Forest all year round, only around 200 donkeys are turned out into the forest in comparison with the 3,000 New Forest ponies. They are all owned by the New Forest’s commoners, people who live here and have rights to let their animals graze the open forest - this tradition goes back hundreds of years.

Although more docile than the New Forest ponies, it is important for both your safety and the safety of the New Forest animals that you do not approach or stroke the donkeys and remember to keep your distance. Donkeys will often be inquisitive if you are having a picnic or have food on you, however please don’t be tempted to feed them as it can not only be bad for their health but it can make them greedy and bite.

The New Forest National Park is a wonderful place to visit and you can help it stay that way by being a Forest friendly visitor. For their safety and your own it is best to leave the animals alone. They may look friendly but they can bite and kick, especially donkeys with young.

Make sure you adhere to the speed limit and keep an eye out. Although some of the donkeys have reflective collars to help them be more visible at night, not all of them have them so please be extremely careful when driving the Forest roads in the evening.

Our locals at the pub >

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