Rivers and Steams
The New Forest contains many small rivers and streams which begin in boggy heathland mires, as well as small lakes, numerous ponds and coastal saltmarshes. These water bodies are some of the most important areas for wildlife in the UK and Europe.
In total there are 32 water bodies, including rivers, streams, brooks and lakes. These range from larger rivers such as Lymington and Beaulieu to shorter streams and brooks such as Sowley Stream and Jacobs Gutter.
The New Forest is unusual in lowland England due to its large areas of uncultivated land (the Open Forest). This makes it one of the best places to see rich and near-natural freshwater habitats in the UK, one of the reasons why such a high level of protection is given to the landscape.