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New Forest Blog1

New Forest Fun and Facts

Dear Shorefield Country Park Ambassadors,

We would like to share some local events and activities coming up in the New Forest and one or two facts that you may not have known about the world-famous national park on our doorstep.

Links to local events.

Burley Wagon Rides - N&J Heavy Horses - Visit the New Forest – re open Easter holidays

Dogstival - Festival for Dogs and Dog Lovers in the New Forest – 1st and 2nd June Burley Park

Experience the Magic of the Fairies at New Forest Fairy Festival – 10th – 11th August Burley Park

Did you know...

The team of people who look after this now National Park are known as verderers. They manage the conservation of the New Forest, its safeguarding and protect its unusual commoning practices. There has been a Verderers court since the 13th century and their powers were increased in the 17th century to uphold Forest Law.

The New Forest is home to many horse and pony breeds predominately New Foresters and many Shetlands as well as a host of cross bred ponies. You will also see pigs roaming freely as well as cattle and examples of Fallow, Roe, Sika, Muntjac and Red Deer.

In 1079 William the Conqueror creates his Royal Hunting Ground or Nova Foresta and marks the start of Forest Law.

In 1100 His son William Rufus is shot by an arrow and dies whilst hunting – there has been much speculation as to whether this was an accident or something more suspicious, but the place of his falling is now known as Rufus Stone.

Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is buried at Minstead All Saints' churchyards.

Alice Liddell, the inspiration behind Alice in Wonderland lived and is buried in Lyndhurst.

The New Forest is home to unique laws where commoners can let their livestock graze within the parklands.

The Snake Catcher pub in Brockenhurst is named after local celebrity Harry 'Brusher' Mills (19 March 1840 – 1 July 1905) who was a hermit, resident in the New Forest, who made his living as a snake catcher. He became a local celebrity and an attraction for visitors to the New Forest. He took up snake-catching for a living, ridding local properties of snakes, armed with little more than a sack and a forked stick. He is said to have manufactured and sold ointments from parts of the snakes, and other snakes he boiled so that he might sell their skeletons to curious tourists. He supplied snakes to London Zoo as food for their birds of prey and snake-eating snakes. It is estimated that he caught tens of thousands of snakes in his lifetime.

Following a national press article about him, Mills became a draw for tourists and visitors to the New Forest, who would have their photographs taken with him, buy his snake potions, and listen to his country lore. He regularly attended Cricket matches at nearby Balmer Lawn and was paid to sweep the pitch between innings, and hence the nickname "Brusher" was bestowed upon him.

Brusher mills

We hope you enjoy exploring the forest,

From the Shorefield Country Park Operations Team

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