Public Spaces Protection Orders
BBQs and fires are not permitted in the Forest.
The feeding and petting of ponies, horses, mules or donkeys is not permitted.
You can help us care for this special place by following the New Forest Code.
There are two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) in force in the New Forest.
On this page:
Public Spaces Protection Order Number 1
- placing, throwing or dropping items likely to cause a fire; or
- lighting fires (of any type) or barbeques (including disposable barbeques and any outdoor temporary cooking facilities or equipment)
Public Spaces Protection Order Number 2
- feeding or providing or depositing food for consumption by any New Forest pony, horse, mule or donkey; or
- petting or touching any New Forest pony, horse, mule or donkey
Requirements and exceptions
The Public Spaces Protection Orders also impose requirements for any person found to be acting contrary to the bans, to terminate any of the above activities (and extinguish any lit fire or BBQ), and to surrender any related item in their possession, if an authorised officer reasonably believes it is being used or is likely to be used, in connection with the above prohibited activities.
There are some exceptions to these bans which can be seen in the Public Spaces Protection Orders linked above.
Report a breach
Breaching either Public Spaces Protection Order is a criminal offence and could result in a fixed penalty notice being issued with a maximum penalty of £100 or prosecution which could result in a fine of up to £1000.
If you have witnessed a breach of either PSPO and it is not an emergency, please complete the below form.
Please note, you will not receive a direct response to your report but it will be shared with the authorised officers at Forestry England, National Park Authority and Verderers of the New Forest to consider hotspot areas for future patrolling.
We have authorised individuals employed by the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry England and the Verderers to be Authorised Officers for the purposes of enforcing the Public Spaces Protection Orders and, where appropriate, issuing fixed penalty notices.
These teams will be patrolling and engaging with the public to explain more about the new rules. Their focus is on educating and informing the public to make people aware of the risks and how they can help to protect the New Forest when spending time here.
Each Authorised Officer will carry an identify badge and you will be able to verify their identity with their employer.
The New Forest Code
The New Forest is a unique place with rare wildlife and free-roaming livestock and by following the code you can help protect the animals and plants.
You can help us care for this special place by following the simple nine steps of the New Forest Code:
- Keep your distance from the animals - don't feed or touch them
- Take home litter and dog waste
- No fires, stoves or barbecues
- Keep dogs under control. Don't let dogs approach or chase any animals
- Park only in car parks
- No wild camping
- Stick to the permitted cycle tracks
- Drive with care - animals on the road!
- Help wildlife by keeping to the main tracks
Public Spaces Protection Order Number 1 was introduced following repeated fire damage to the Forest caused by campfires and BBQs, and the growing risk of wildfires due to increasingly hotter and drier conditions.
Public Spaces Protection Order Number 1 bans the lighting of fires of any type including BBQs and any outdoor cooking facilities or equipment. It also makes it an offence to place, throw or drop items likely to cause a fire such as lit cigarettes.
Concern over the safety of the public and Forest animals, following injuries to the people and animal deaths resulting from being fed human food, created the need to better manage public interactions with these free-roaming animals. Public Spaces Protection Order Number 2 bans feeding and petting ponies, horses, mules and donkeys in the Forest.
At the meeting of our Cabinet on 5 April 2023, we decided to proceed with these two PSPOs in accordance with section 59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The Public Spaces Protection Orders were formally made on 13 April 2023 and came in to effect on 1 July 2023.
You can view the background information about these Public Spaces Protection Orders in the links below.