Verderers of the New Forest

New Forest Ponies

New Forest Ponies

Address: The Queens House, High Street, Lyndhurst, SO43 7NH

Clerk to the Verderers: Mrs Susan Westwood

Telephone: 023 8028 2052

Fax: 023 8028 3101


Web Address:

The Verderers’ Court is a legal body set up by Parliament under the New Forest Act of 1877.

The Verderers regulate commoning (the exercise of common rights such as grazing ponies) in the Forest.

They also have wide responsibilities in respect of development control and conservation.

The present Court consists of ten Verderers.

Five are elected by the Commoners (people with common rights) and the other five are appointed, one each by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Forestry Commission, the National Park Authority and Natural England.

The Official Verderer is chairman of the Court and is appointed by the Queen.

To help them with their work, the Verderers employ a Clerk (administrator), a part-time Assistant to the Clerk and five Agisters.

The Agisters are responsible for supervising the day-to-day welfare of the stock (ponies, cattle, donkeys, pigs and sheep) which graze the Forest and are owned by the Commoners.