The New Forest: Heaven On Our Doorstep
The New Forest is 219 square miles of heaven on Made in Here’s Southampton doorstep. Here’s why we love this ancient forest and its history, its wildlife, and its wonderful native ingredients.
DID YOU KNOW? The New Forest is something old, something “New”
The New Forest is actually one of the oldest forests in the UK. The area has been colonised by birch, beech and oak trees since the Ice Age ended 12,000 years ago. William the Conqueror designated it a royal hunting forest in 1079, giving it the name Nova Foresta – and it’s the only forest described in detail in the Domesday Book of 1086.
A New Forest ingredient we love: Berries
Made in Here’s artisans grow and process raspberries and blackberries in the New Forest and across Hampshire. Enjoy New Forest berries in our Berry Crunch Magic Circles (£4.25) and Great Taste Raspberry Conserve (£4.25).
DID YOU KNOW? The New Forest “punished” William the Conqueror
Two of William’s sons died in the New Forest: Prince Richard, around 1070, and then King William II (William Rufus) in 1100. According to local folklore, the prices’ deaths were the fateful punishment for William’s selfish treatment of the forest and its residents. The supposed site of Rufus’s death is marked with The Rufus Stone (pictured below; find out more at thenewforest.co.uk).
Give a unique New Forest souvenir: Hampshire Gourmet Gift Set
Our Hampshire Gourmet & Spitfire Gift Set (£19.95) is a superb box of delicious handmade treats, including our Tomato Relish with a hint of chilli; Gourmet Clementine & Whisky Preserve; and New Forest Honey Chocolate cubes, all made by New Forest artisans using locally-grown ingredients. The gift set also includes our beautiful pewter key ring of the Spitfire, the legendary WWII fighter jet which was developed in nearby Southampton.
DID YOU KNOW? Today’s New Forest residents include Chris Packham… and Peppa Pig
The New Forest is now a haven for wildlife. Donkeys, pigs, deer, cattle, snakes, lizards and badgers roam the bogs, woodlands and open heathland, along with the legendary New Forest ponies. Hundreds of bird species live here, too, including buzzards, owls and sparrowhawks. Human residents past and present include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Florence Nightingale and naturalist Chris Packham, and local attractions range from craft beer breweries to Peppa Pig World. Find out more at the New Forest Living website.
Our favourite New Forest herb: Peppermint
Peppermint has grown in the New Forest for centuries. Its oil is a brilliant natural insect repellent, so slap on some of our New Forest Hand Balm (£8.95) to fend off ticks, spiders, ants and pesky mosquitoes.
Sweet-toothed New Forest souvenir: New Forest Chocolate & Spitfire Gift Set
Our New Forest Chocolate & Spitfire Gift Set (£16.95) includes our Dark Chocolate Magic Circles infused with New Forest peppermint and our New Forest Honey Chocolate milk cubes bursting with ganache, and our magnificent pewter paperweight of the Spitfire.
Gifts from New Forest honey bees: Honey and beeswax
Bees are among the smallest, most delightful and most productive of the New Forest’s hundreds of resident species. New Forest honey bees are free to graze on lavender and other New Forest flowers, which gives their honey a delicious flavour that we showcase in our New Forest Honey Chocolates (£10.95). The bees’ wax is a vital component of our New Forest Hand Balm (£8.95) and our fabulous little New Forest Lip Balms (£2.20)…