An interactive tourist and visitor map for Blackwater Arboretum, Rhinefield Ornamental Drive and Knightwood Oak in the New Forest. This map highlights the features and facilities found at these locations and identifies a selection of places to look for the wildlife that can be found in the area. Zoom in to the map to reveal more detail and click on features to display additional information.
To view an interactive map of the wider New Forest region, please visit our New Forest Visitor Map.
The New Forest is situated in southwest Hampshire, between Southampton and Bournemouth, in the UK. The forest was founded primarily as a hunting ground by William the Conqueror more than 900 years ago. The New Forest contains some of the UK's rarest wildlife habitats and is the largest surviving area of ancient pasture woodland in western Europe. Despite the name, nearly half of the New Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is comprised of heathland. This extensive complex of lowland heath is, again, of significant importance. The mosaic of woodland, heathland and lowland mires (of which there are nearly 100 in the forest as a whole) on the scale as seen here is unique to the New Forest within the UK. The centrally located region of the New Forest covered by this map is particularly popular with tourists and visitors. This area holds a large number of leisure amenities, a selection of guided trails and offers good opportunities to view a wide range of the forest's trees and animals.
Blackwater Arboretum is a relatively small site containing a selection of trees from around the world. The inclosure incorporates a guided 'Sensory Trail', a large number of benches and two picnic tables. Popular with birdwatchers, the area is noted for sightings of Hawfinch and Firecrest, amongst a wide range of other species. The majority of the paths and trails in and around the arboretum have a firm gravel surface and are therefore acceptable for wheelchair users. This map features the route of the 'Sensory Trail' and locates the facilities found in this arboretum.
Rhinefield Ornamental Drive is a narrow driveway lined on either side by a large number of tall trees. These include Coast Redwood, Douglas Fir and Giant Sequoia. Running predominantly parallel to the road on either side is the 'Tall Trees Trail'. Again suitable for wheelchair users, the terrain of this route is flat. At approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) in length, five featured groups of trees and associated signboards are found on this loop. These include a pair of Giant Sequoia, which are the two tallest trees in the New Forest. A species native to California, these two trees, which are still growing, are estimated to weigh approximately 105 tonnes each. A number of other notable landmarks are located along the length of this route. These include an example of an inclosure bank and ditch. This feature was originally formed in the mid 19th century to restrict the movement of livestock from an area being used to grow trees for timber. A World War II bomb crater is also to be found on this route, towards the northern end of the trail. This map highlights the route of the 'Tall Trees Trail' and the notable landmarks found along its length.
The Knightwood Oak, located to the north of the busy A35 road, is the biggest Oak in the forest. Estimated to be around 600 years in age, this tree is also one of the oldest in the New Forest. Approximately 7.5 metres (25 feet) in girth, people have visited this tree since the Victorian era (19th century). As well as its impressive size and age, this tree, and others like it, are important habitats for huge numbers of birds, insects, fungi and lichen. An information board located next to the Knightwood Oak discusses this aspect in greater detail. The wider area holds a number of other commemorative trees, including the Queen's Oak, planted by Her Majesty the Queen on 10th April 1979 to mark the ninth centenary of the New Forest. This map shows the positions of all the notable trees at this site and the picnic facilities also located here.
Five New Forest car parks are shown on this map. Of these Blackwater, where a donation based payment scheme is in operation, is the best served by amenities. Public toilets, picnic and barbecue facilities and an information unit are found here. An ice cream kiosk, serving locally made produce, is also regularly sited in this car park. At the northern end of the 'Tall Trees Trail', Brock Hill car park is a large site with a small picnic area located nearby. Knightwood Oak car park is situated a few hundred metres away from the tree from which it takes its name. Vinney Ridge and Woosons car parks are much smaller in size. The latter of these is typically closed during the winter period.
As mentioned above, Blackwater Arboretum is popular with birdwatchers. The variety of trees found here encourages a wide range of different species. In recent years, good numbers of Crossbill and Brambling (winter) have been sighted here. Hawfinch, Firecrest and Redstart (summer) are also noted. Visitors to this site are, however, advised by the Forestry Commission to not hang up bird feeders. Black Water stream holds good populations of dragonflies and damselflies. During the summer months, significant numbers of Common Darter, Golden-ringed Dragonfly and Keeled Skimmer can be spotted in the area. This map highlights a number of potentially good locations to view the wildlife that can be found in this region of the New Forest.
This map has been built with open data. Over time, as more or better information becomes available, I hope to add to this map and, more importantly, correct any errors or inaccuracies that are currently present. Please help me to make this map better by informing me of any errors that you notice. Thank-you for your help.
Data for this map has been sourced from the OpenStreetMap project. This map also makes use of OpenData from the Ordnance Survey and land cover data sourced from Natural England and released under the Open Government Licence. The map itself was compiled in TileMill, from MapBox.
Please note that the views and opinions expressed above and on this map are my own and are not necessarily, therefore, those of the landowners, authorities or other organisations that operate these sites or are mentioned on this page.
For more information, please visit these websites:
Dragonflies and Damselflies (including Golden-ringed Dragonfly)
Dragonflies and Damselflies (including Keeled Skimmer)
Reptiles (including Grass Snake)
Woodland Birds (including Firecrest)
Woodland Birds (including Hawfinch)
Woodland Birds (including Lesser Spotted Woodpecker)
Western Red Cedar
Point of interest
New Forest cycle network route marker post
Forestry Commission car park
Visitor information sign board
Visitor information unit