The New Forest is beautiful all year round with its varied landscape and incredible collection of wildlife. The majority of people tend to visit in the spring, summer and autumn, but there are still plenty of things to see and do in the winter. In fact, this time of year will give you an opportunity to see some truly magical sights that only occur in this period.
In early December the shallow waterways in the area become deeper because of the higher volume of rainfall during the period. This makes them more accessible to fish and other marine life. One great sight you can see at this time of year is the migration of sea trout. They travel upstream every year when the waterways are deep enough so that the females can spawn. The gravel beds of the streams and the calm water are perfect for reproduction. The locations also offer protection against predators.
If you visit at the beginning of December you can see the migration of the Sea Trout in a number of the streams. You may be able to spot their backs and fins sticking out of the water if you look carefully. The males are usually easier to point out because they have hooked lower jaws. They also snap at each other to display their strength to females.
In February it is toad and frog breeding season in the New Forest. Just like the sea trout, the toads return to the same breeding grounds each year and can be seen around the many ponds in the area. During the day you can see male toads wrestling to capture the attention of the larger females. This can get very intense as the males can outnumber the females by up to ten to one.
The winter can also be a great time of year to get a better look at the ancient trees in the New Forest when they have lost their foliage. Make sure to look out for the Knightwood Oak, possibly the oldest tree in the area. Dating it accurately is difficult without felling it, but the circumference is over 7 metres. This indicates that it could be around 600 years old. Whatever you choose to do, staying at a cosy bed and breakfast in the New Forest will make your trip even more special, so get in touch with us if you would like to enquire about accommodation.