Ringwood & Fordingbridge Footpath Society
                         Footpath News

The Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society exists to protect the interests of users of public paths by ensuring (a) their reasonable maintenance and freedom from obstruction and (b) their adequate signposting and waymarking.

The area covered by the RFFS comprises the thirteen parishes listed below:
Breamore                                                                     Hale                                                     Ringwood
Damerham                                                                   Hyde                                                    Sandleheath
Ellingham, Harbridge &                                                Martin                                                  Whitstbury
Ibsley                                                                           Rockbourne                                        Woodgreen    
It covers about 160 square kilometres of greatly varied countryside ranging from quiet water meadows to high wind-blown common, from the edge of the New Forest to the borders of Cranborne Chase.

Parishes Map

The footpath system has developed over a long period.  It was originally necessary  for journeys between home and work, church, nearby towns and villages, schools and place of refreshment.  Now this heritage is available not only for its original use but for recreation as well.

Management of the local footpaths rests with the Hampshire County Council and the Society liaises closely with the Council's Rights of Way Department in ensuring that bridges, stiles and gates are properly maintained; paths are kept free from obstruction; illegal ploughing of headland paths is checked; crossfield paths are reinstated after ploughing; and that, where appropriate, paths are clearly signposted and waymarked.


Healthy Walks around the New Forest - Hampshire Paths Partnership - Hampshire Countryside

In association withThe Hampshire Paths Partnership - Healthy Walks Programme, the RFFS is organising and leading 4 Healthy Walks around Ringwood and 3 around  Fordingbridge. Details of these walks can be found by clicking on the following link:
Healthy Walks



Hampshire Countryside Access Forum



Railway line at Breamore now open for walkers

Part of the old railway line is now open for public use as a footpath. The 1.3 mile stretch between South
Charford (A) and Breamore (B), as shown on the map has been cleared of vegetation by volunteers
from the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpath Society and Breamore Parish Council. The New
Forest National Park Authority has provided funding for the construction of a new bridge.

follow this link :http://www.hants.gov.uk/rh/row/breamore.pdf



Footpath to Whitstbury

Breamore 5    A much needed improvement we have been asking for.






The restoration by the National Trust of an architecturally and historically important oak and stone seat was marked today, 29th June 2010 at Hightown Common in the New Forest.

The bench, designed by notable architect the late Elisabeth Scott, was first positioned in 1929 when the Open Spaces Society celebrated the purchase of the 40-acre Hightown Common, to save it from development. The seat and the Common were dedicated to the memory of Lord Eversley, founder and President of the Society, who died in 1928, at the age of 96.

The Common, with its seat, was given to the National Trust in 1931.

Representatives from the National Trust, the Open Spaces Society and the Ringwood and Fordingbridge Footpaths Society came to admire the restoration of the elegant bench which had fallen into decay.

“Lord Eversley was a very far-sighted person who realised Commons everywhere were under threat from developers,” said Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society. 

“It is wonderful that the Trust have taken so much trouble, using local craftsmen to keep this memorial to him alive,” she said.

The stonework and carving were restored by Matt Williams of St. Leonards, while the oak seat was made by craftsman Andy Baerselman.

Elisabeth Scott, who designed the bench, was the architect responsible for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Her niece, Georgina Burrows, who lives at Bank in the New Forest, was delighted to see the seat restored.

“When the A31 was built, it became part of a bus shelter,” she said. Now you can see the beauty of the Portland Stone and the shape of the wooden parts.”

The bench was admired by others whose families were involved in the original purchase of the land, including William Ziegler and Bridget Amos.

“This has been a terrific undertaking,” said Ian Bradwell, New Forest area warden for the National Trust “And it’s all been worthwhile.”


The National Trust is the second largest landowner in the New Forest, with 2400 hectares on five different sites on the western and eastern edges.



The properties within the established New Forest boundary are Hale Purlieu, Bramshaw Commons, Rockford, Ibsley and Hightown Commons.

Foxbury Plantation, Copythorne, is just outside this boundary, but within the National Park.


All five areas support the New Forest’s historic method of farming, known as ‘commoning’ and all are being managed to restore habitat in a sustainable environment


Annie Bullen, 01264 334389 or 0771 231 4274