The New Forest’s Overgrazed Stream Sides and Woodlands.

The banks of New Forest streams have changed significantly over the years. Long before I started photographing the New Forest in the 1970s streamsides were steadily being opened up by livestock as they grazed and trampled these fragile areas into blandness, and it is a problem that continues to the present day.  If managing the open Forest continues to prioritise traditional practices, then maybe it's not such a bad idea to refer to photographs taken earlier in the 20th Century to gain a better understanding of the changes that have occurred.  Many stream banks were grazed out long before I began taking pictures…

Continue ReadingThe New Forest’s Overgrazed Stream Sides and Woodlands.

The New Forest’s Overgrazed Heathlands.

Overgrazing the New Forest - a major contribution to species decline. I wrote recently about ‘The New Forest’ and the obvious truth that it has a litter problem, but there is something more consequential going on that has been bothering me for years - the fabric of the Forest is being eaten away by herbivores more quickly than it can regenerate, and rather like the litter - there is no sign of a change for the better.  The New Forest, for those who don't already know, is a patchwork of habitats ranging from lawns, through open heathlands to forests and all…

Continue ReadingThe New Forest’s Overgrazed Heathlands.