THE New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) is hoping to unearth memories and stories surrounding five new historic trails.

The five trails have been selected from the Forest’s established rights of way for their historic features and connection to residential areas.

With the help of volunteers, the NPA analysed historic maps dating back to 1759 to research around 700 current rights of way, in 37 parishes.

The five routes are:

n Stuckton Iron Works Trail — The trail starts at Fordingbridge cemetery and passes the site of a Bronze Age cemetery before continuing to Stuckton. Stuckton was a hub for smugglers in the late 18th Century and part of this trail is likely to have been used to smuggle contraband from Christchurch Bay to Fordingbridge. On this trail is Stuckton Iron Works, which was built in 1790 and was operational until the foundry closed in 1908.

n Rockford Common Trail — A contender for the oldest tree in the New Forest, the Moyles Court Oak can be seen on this trail, which goes around Rockford Common. The route has evidence of more than 4,000 years of land use and farming. A big impact on this area was made by the construction of RAF Ibsley during the Second World War.

n Tatchbury Mount Trail

n Carters Lane Trail

n Lepe to Fawley Trail

The trails have been identified by the Historic Routes and Past Pathways project, which is part of the National Lottery Heritage Funded Our Past, Our Future scheme.

Gareth Owen, NPA archaeologist, said: “I hope the five selected areas will have something for everyone, giving walkers a real insight into the mix of history we have here in the New Forest, as well as the opportunity to visit some lovely, hidden away, locations. The volunteer researchers have, so far, only scratched the surface of what history dwells in these locations.”

To contribute memories or stories contact 01590 646652 or