Find your way around Pondhead

The northern section of Pondhead Inclosure, which contains the bulk of the hazel coppice, is subject to a series of 18th century boundary banks which were constructed to define field boundaries within the inclosure. Thanks to Richard Reeves, we now have the names of these old fields which are shown on the map below – the only exception is Rosie Close which is named after Dave Dibden’s old dog who lies at rest in there.

As our work in Pondhead progresses we are aiming to align our hazel coppice coupes to this old field system so you will find their names being used more frequently in future. All rides on the map are shown in green and streams in blue.

Click here for a printable copy

Ride System

For orientation purposes, the Beechen Lane entrance is at the westerly point on the above map with Beechen Lane running down the the south western edge of the inclosure. The Limewood hotel sits behind Crab Tree Close and Saw Pitt Close. The Beaulieu Road entrance is at the top of Rosie Close.

Mine House Grounds is thought to be older mixed woodland which may have been subject to an attempt at open cast coal mining during the 1700s although we have been unable to substantiate this. However, it does contain an interesting series of earth scrapes and marl pits on which current work is being undertaken.

In 1789, a Royal Commission published a report on the New Forest. The report was accompanied by the first detailed map of the Forest based on surveys undertaken in 1786/87 by Thomas Richardson, William King, Abraham Driver and William Driver. It is commonly known as “Drivers’ map”. The map below is from the 2nd Edition published in 1814 with the current Pondhead inclosure outlined. For a printable copy, click here.

Richardson Driver original

The map below is an 1871 Ordnance Survey map of Pondhead Inclosure which shows the old ride network. Those coloured gold are the current hard surfaced tracks and those coloured green are grass rides that are fully open and walkable. The red line is a newer grass ride that was cut through in the 1970s to improve access for the Fire Brigade and remains open. A copy can be downloaded here.

1871 Ordnance Survey map

1871 Ordnance Survey map