Nature in the New Forest

The New Forest is one of the most important areas of lowland heath in Europe having numerous prime areas of this fast-disappearing habitat. The heather and other acid-loving plants provide food and shelter for insects which are eaten by larger insects such as dragonflies as well as reptiles, small birds and mammals. These in turn are preyed upon by predators like the Hobby.

Water is also an important feature of the New Forest ecosystem. Peat bogs are rich in insects and other invertebrates which provide food for birds such as snipe and curlew that nest on the ground in the adjacent heather. Small streams too are home to species which prefer flowing water like certain damselflies and dragonflies.