General Information about Carriage Driving in the New Forest

Before driving a pony and trap in the New Forest you will need  :

 A driving permit - obtained from the Forestry Commission at The Queen's House, Lyndhurst, Hants, S043 7NH. Tel: 02380 283141, Fax : 02380 28392 email: enquiries.southern@forestry.gsi.gov.uk .  This currently (May 2021) costs  75 for 1 year, or 140 for 2 years. The application form can be downloaded  here

 A gate key - should be available from the same department, for which a deposit will be charged.

 A third party insurance policy as provided by the BDS if you are a member, or equivalent if not. The FC might ask to see evidence of your insurance when issuing a permit.

 A map - we advise using the Ordnance Survey 'Explorer OL22'. It shows the cycle routes with an orange dotted line which are all driveable. However your permit allows you to drive on all gravelled tracks, some of which are not cycle routes. Please do not drive on unmade-up tracks; this risks revocation of your permit and may cause the FC to withdraw current permissions for carriage drivers.

 Before setting out, we advise checking whether your proposed route or car park is closed (for maintenance, timber operations or seasonal winter closure). Up to date information is available at www.forestryengland.uk/new-forest-car-park-and-cycle-route-closures.
To avoid areas where pony drifts are taking place in the autumn, contact the Verderers office at 023 8028 2052

Risk Assessment : 
Please be aware that your horse may adversely react to pigs, cattle, children and wild ponies running across the track;
Cyclists will often ride fast and close; they may overtake you on the wrong side;
Forestry machinery may be noisy; Water levels in the fords may rise rapidly after rain.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that these routes are correctly described and assessed suitable for carriage driving, Hampshire Area BDS cannot accept liability if you should lose your way or suffer an accident.