A short history of the New Milton area
The New Milton area is alive with wildlife. There is a wide range of habitats, from heathland to farmland and from cliff-top to sandy beaches. These all support a variety of plants and animals.
In the farm hedgerows and heathland you may see linnets and yellowhammers. These seed-eating birds rely on ‘weeds’ once common in arable fields, are now seen in fewer numbers due to modern farming methods.
Peregrine falcons nest on cliffs and may be seen swooping and soaring in coastal areas. The cliffs themselves are a significant feature. They have been designated as ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’.
Thrift, or sea pink, grows in tufts on the cliff top, its tall, slender stalks supporting lots of small, light pink flowers. Its narrow leaves reduce the loss of fresh water in these tough conditions.
- Temporarily closed
- Restricted use
Starting from the small car park at the west end of Barton Common Road look for the footpath sign pointing through the bushes in a southerly direction. The path swings to the right through the trees and crosses a small gully before meeting Becton Lane.
Turn left along the pavement past a housing estate, which used to be the old sewage works. Walk up the hill to Marine Drive East. Turn left, cross the road and go across the car park to a gate leading onto a wide cliff top path.
This path used to be part of the golf club. In September 1993 Richard Branson opened it to the public. This is a nice walk along this grassy track with views over the golf course on the left and across to the Needles on the right. About 50 metres from the end of this cliff walk look for a gravel track on the left going slightly downhill.
Cross Becton Bunny and then take the gravel path on your left. Go up the hill between the fences and hedges until reaching a metal kissing gate at the corner of the common.
Go through the gate and straight ahead downhill keeping the golf course fence on your left. On reaching the trees turn left over the small sleeper bridge and take the path ahead. This will take you round the edge of the common and back to the car park.