Author Archives: debbie

Browsing line

Most of the deciduous trees in the open Forest are bare of leaves and twigs below a line about two metres from the ground, because the browsing ponies, deer and cattle keep them stripped. The browsing line is a very noticeable feature of the Forest.


Bottom is an old word for a valley floor. There are several strangely named bottoms in the New Forest, including Dead Man’s Bottom and even Slap Bottom!


Bombs were tested on the New Forest by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

There are still signs of the huge crater that was blasted when the biggest ever bomb dropped in the UK landed on the open Forest between Fritham and Frogham, where a series of targets were constructed (see Submarine Pens).

Boiling mounds

Boiling mounds are ancient piles of flint that have been heated by fire. The mounds are found near sources of water, sometimes next to shallow hollows in the ground. The theory is that they were used by our ancestors to boil water. The flints would have been put in a fire until they were very hot, then dropped into the water in the hollow. Boiling mounds are common across the Forest.


There are about fifty types of ant in the UK, and more than half can be found in the New Forest.

The Southern Wood Ant creates huge nests among the trees in the Forest, made out of pine needles, leaves and twigs. The nests can be a metre or two across. Be careful not to get too close, as the ants spray formic acid when they feel threatened, and they can bite.

The New Forest is also home to the rare Bog Ant which spends its life in and around some of the Forest bogs.