Historic walking routes launched
Five walking routes steeped in history and folklore have been launched by the New Forest National Park Authority.
The routes are the result of years of research and their rich heritage has been brought to life by reconstruction drawings, dramatisations and folk songs.
All five walks take in established rights of way and are closely connected to residential areas, making them easy for people to access.
* Carters Lane, Marchwood: Travel back to a time of estates and landowners who supported the community by building schools and churches.
* Lepe to Fawley: Learn about the role the forest played in D-Day and view the remains of World War II military installations.
* Rockford Common: Discover ancient oaks and wonderful wildlife as you walk through open healthland.
* Stuckton Iron Works, Fordingbridge: Journey through a working landscape and learn of heavy industry, riots and smuggling.
* Tatchbury Mount: Walk around an Iron Age hillfort and along some of the New Forest’s oldest pathways.
The walks were researched by the NPA’s archaeology team with the help of volunteers. Maps dating back to 1759 were analysed and the team researched 700 current rights of way. Almost 260 walking surveys were conducted to whittle the contenders down.
The routes can be found at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/historicroutes, along with old photographs, maps and three dramatisations recorded by professional storytellers. In addition, six folks songs connected to the history on the walks have been produced by Coda Music Trust and researched and performed by Chris Hopgood of The Folk Orc.