Searching for the New Forest Deer from Cadman Pool round

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The New Forest and its National Park is a wonderful and beautiful place situated in Hampshire in Southern England. The New Forest National Park was created in March 2005 after six years of consultations. A national park authority was established in April 2005 and gained full statutory powers in April 2006. The park covers 140,000 acres and includes many existing Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and lies mainly in south-west Hampshire from east of the Avon Valley to Southampton Water and from the Solent coast to the edge of the Wiltshire Chalk Downs. The Forest is a living and working place with so many thatched cottages, hidden gems and secrets making it a haven for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and tourists. To enable you to enjoy the forest to its full potential is to leave the car and get out there and explore. There are many circular routes, which can be found in the tourist information places, with picnic areas and toilet facilities. There are also guided walks where experts will tell you about the forest, its history and wildlife etc.  There is also the New Forest Tour which is an open top bus taking you on many routes round the forest and villages and you can hop on and off where ever you like. This is fun for everyone and ideal for people who cannot walk far or are disabled. The New Forest Museum and Visitors Centre in Lyndhurst is the best place for any information and advice. The main attraction of the New Forest is the wild ponies that roam free but are actually owned by New Forest Commoners. There are approximately 3,000 ponies and have lived here for about 2000 years. The foals are born in the spring and summer and they are a delight to see. In the summer and autumn each year Pony drifts are held so that the commoners can sell their stock and the job of tail clipping and veterinary checks can be done at the same time.

The New Forest River Restoration Project is a massive project to help restore the New Forest to create a better place for people and wildlife along its rivers. The New Forest National Park Authority, the lead partner for the project, are working with the Forestry Commission and Natural England to restore 2,700 hectares of the New Forest that has been damaged by past drainage activities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The New Forest is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the work started in April 2009 and will finish in March 2013.

The area around Cadman Pool is like a replica of the New Forest in miniature consisting of wonderful woodlands, heathland and a small stream called Dockens Water. Fallow deer and the forest ponies which are ever present and the shy red deer freely roam this area. The area is also one of the best sites in whole forest for birds such as finches, firecrests, woodlarks, the lesser spotted woodpecker, marsh tits, nuthatches and also siskins, chaffinches and even hawfinches which breed here. The pool was dug out in the 1960’s by Arthur Cadman, the then deputy surveyor of the New forest, just to enhance the area. It was stocked with fish and is now one of only three ponds in the New Forest where fishing is permitted. The pond is a breeding ground for ducks and Canada Geese and when cold the pond often attracts the Goosander. Dockens Water drains the New Forest heaths and eventually empties into the River Avon to the west.

The Walk

From the car park we head forwards with the pond on our left. At the barrier we go through and turn right. The path soon splits we take the left path downhill to the enclosure fence. We then turn right through the trees with the fence on our left. At the fence corner we turn left with the fence still on our left. We soon turn right over the long bridge over Dockens Water and follow the track slightly uphill over the open ground. Keeping the wooded area on our left we keep following the path and when the path levels out we soon meet a wide gravel track. We cross straight over and very soon cross over another gravel track then bear immediate right and follow the grassy path through the heather. We keep following the path as it gradually descends into the trees and continue on the same path ignoring any paths going off left or right. When we come to a gravel track we head forwards and cross over a footbridge and follow the wide track which soon bears left. We continue on the wide track slightly uphill for about 800 yards and where the track bears right with a gate on the left we take the path straight ahead. We then follow the cycle route and when we come out into the open we keep following the track. When the track splits we bear left following the cycle route marker and when we see a mound on our right we bear off right to the top of the mound. After a viewing and a cup of tea we make our way back to the track to continue forward. We soon take the path going off to the left and after a short way the path splits just before some bee hives we bear left here going downhill to go through the gate we can see at the bottom which takes us into the wood. We head forward on the broad grassy track through the wood, keeping ahead at a crossroad, until we reach a footbridge. We cross the bridge, go through the first gate and turn right. At the end of the enclosure we keep heading forward and after cross a small stream we turn left uphill to the left hand corner of the wood ahead. At the top of the brow we bear left keeping to the outside of the wood. We cross straight over a track and head forward slightly downhill with the wood on our right. When the path splits we bear left and when the path splits again, at end of the wood, we bear left again still heading downhill. We join a path coming in from the right and continue downhill towards the wooden building to the left of the thatched white buildings. At the wooden building we pick up the track and bear left over a small footbridge. We follow the track as it bears right and shortly after passing a small thatched white house and just before the trees we turn left off the track. We head forward with the trees on our right then follow the path through the trees on the edge of the wood. We cross over what looks like a dried up stream bed and keep heading forwards with the fence and Broomy Enclosure on our left. When the path splits we bear left still following the fence. When we reach the track at Broomy Lodge we cross straight over then at the end of the fence we turn left on to a track. We follow the track and at the Forestry Commission and Holly Hatch Cottage only sign we turn right. We pass a deer pound, go through the gate and head forwards on the grassy path. When the path splits we bear right on the outside of the trees and keep following the track which continues through the heather and gorse. When the path splits we bear left and soon Cadman Pool comes into view. We make our way past the pool on our right back to the car park.


This is an easy walk over moorland and through woodland on grass footpaths and tracks. Some areas are boggy.

Elevation: Approx lowest point 49.70m (163.06ft) approx highest point 107.70m (353.35ft) approx ascent 215.20m (706.04ft)

Distance and Start Point

Approx 8 miles allow 3½ hours using OS Explorer Map OL22, New forest. This walk is done anti-clockwise.


Cadman Pool, near Fritham, is north east of Ringwood in the New Forest National Park, Hampshire.

Directions and Parking

From Ringwood take the A31 towards Cadnam. At Stoney Cross crossroads turn left, signposted Fritham then after about 2.5 miles take the first left.  Continue for about a mile and Cadman Pool is on the car park on the right.

From Lyndhurst take the A35 westwards at Swan Green turn left onto Emery Down road. Turn left at the pub signposted Bolderwood. Continue for about 4 miles, under the A31 then take the first right. Cadman Pool car park is on the left

From the M27 take junction 1 and take the B3078 towards Fordingbridge. Turn left for Stoney Cross the right after two miles towards Bolderwood and Linwood. Continue for about a mile and Cadman Pool car park is on the right.

Parking: Free car park at Cadman Pool.

Toilets and Refreshments

There are no public toilets the nearest one’s are at Ringwood or Lyndhurst. There is no refreshments on-route but there are two pubs nearby at High Corner and Fritham. The next nearest places for refreshments are at Ringwood and Lyndhurst.

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