Commoning Voices

The following URL takes you to a specific page on realnewforest, the website of the Commoners Defence Association (or CDR for short). It provides the unique chance to hear the voices and interesting perspectives of some of the New Forest Commoning community

Commoning Voices

My Newforestsounds website’s main focus is on environmental sounds rather than interviews, and so I thought that this would be of interest in helping you to understand more about the ways of The New Forest. You’ll notice that the commoners talk about the annual Point to Point races, and also the Beaulieu Road ponysales. My own sounds that aim to bring these events to life can be enjoyed by clicking the links below:

To have the right to be a commoner (someone who farms the forest by putting out livestock on it) depends solely upon the “occupation” of a piece of land with common rights. Most land with rights is lost to commoning, often with the owners unaware of the rights, so the land that is still occupied by commoners is of great importance.

The secret of the survival of the New Forest landscape has been its defence by commoners over centuries. Large areas of the New Forest were lost to development, but the fact that so much remains bears powerful testimony to the commoners’ willingness to speak truth to power and stand up for this special place.

Commoning is the essential element that sustains not only its special cultural heritage, but also its landscape, biodiversity, and accessibility. The Commoners Defence Association was established in 1909, at a time when threats to this traditional form of land management, were rising once again, and continues to work in support of commoners and their animals grazing on the open Forest. It remains as important as ever, and does an extraordinary amount of work, especially given that it is run by volunteers and funded by its members’ subscriptions. To find put more, and to support the important work of the CDA, visit