Living in Minstead

Minstead Village is located in the heart of the New Forest National Park just north of Lyndhurst and about 1 mile south of the A31. It has a small but vibrant community, mainly centred around the Village Green but with a number of dwellings spread out around the Parish which is one of the largest by area in the district. Much of the Parish lies within the Forest Central South Conservation Area.

More than 34,000 people live within the New Forest National Park, making it the most densely-populated national park in England.

The New Forest is a landscape shaped by human activity and by New Forest ponies, sometimes called ‘the architects of the forest’. It is used for ‘commoning’ – those who have the right to graze their animals on the open Forest – and for forestry, agriculture and even quarrying. Unusually for a national park, almost half of the land is in public ownership – ‘vested in’ the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and managed by the Forestry Commission.

For houses bordering the open Forest it is the home owner’s responsibility to fence against Forest livestock and keep their boundaries safe. If a Forest animal gets into your property you may be held liable by its owner if it suffers any injury or illness as a result. If the animal damages your garden you cannot claim against the owner. Please see the Verderer’s Guidance for Property Owners for more information.

Click HERE if you have recently moved to Minstead in the New Forest for 10 things to do.

For further information visit:

The New Forest National Park Authority website

The New Forest District Council website

The Forestry Commission website

The Hampshire County Council website

The Verderers of the New Forest website


In the main the landowners are responsible for managing the land. So, for example, the Forestry Commission is responsible for looking after nearly 50% of the New Forest National Park area.

In the New Forest, the Court of Verderers manages the traditional activity of commoning – the rights under which some property owners are entitled to let their ponies, donkeys, cattle, pigs or sheep roam free.

Various public authorities are responsible for setting polices and providing public services in the National Park area. These include:

  • Planning: New Forest National Park Authority
  • Roads: Hampshire County Council in Hampshire, Wiltshire Council in Wiltshire and the Highways England for ‘trunk’ roads and motorways i.e. the A31, A36 and M27
  • Public rights of way: Hampshire County Council in Hampshire and Wiltshire Council in Wiltshire
  • Public car parking: New Forest District Council, the Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council
  • Tourism, business and economic development: Go New Forest. From Monday 3 April 2017, New Forest District Council’s (NFDC) Tourism Service, including the Brand New Forest Card Scheme, transferred all of its functions to Go New Forest. These functions include the publication of the Discover New Forest Guide, Official New Forest Map, Visitor Information Panels, operation and management of, and all other destination digital and social media including all press and PR.
  • WHAT’S ON IN THE NEW FORESTThe Visit the New Forest website contains a lot of useful information for residents as well as visitors and is worth a look if you have a moment to spare.  You can sign up for an eNewsletter and a weekly What’s On and find out a lot of other useful information.
  • Collecting litter: Mostly New Forest District Council, although landowners such as the Forestry Commission also pay for collections in some areas
  • Disposing of/recycling waste: Hampshire County Council in Hampshire, Wiltshire Council in Wiltshire
  • Managing the land: The Forestry Commission manages the Crown lands in the New forest National Park – nearly half of the total area. Others who manage land include the National Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Hampshire County Council and private landowners/estates
  • Commoning and common rights: The Verderers
  • Animal accidents: The police, the Verderers and the Forestry Commission (see emergency hotlines card) with awareness campaigns supported by New Forest National Park Authority.
  • LPG Buying Scheme – for the latest offer click LPG BUYING SCHEME OFFER July 2019 – Minstead Buying group 819