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4. BOW: New Forest - Folklore, Traditions & Charms

Our book of the week is Vikki Bramshaw's New Forest: Folklore, Traditions & Charms. Whether you are curious about English folkloric practices in Hampshire or an interest in Gerald Gardner's Wicca (which started in the New Forest) this book is likely to take you an unexpected journey, filled with insights into life in this beautiful forest.

Never heard of the New Forest?

The New Forest, located in Hampshire, England, is a captivating expanse of natural beauty that effortlessly combines ancient woodlands, heathlands, and picturesque landscapes. Rich in history and wildlife, this national park spans over 566 square kilometres, offering a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The forest's diverse ecosystem shelters an array of wildlife, including the famous New Forest ponies that roam freely among the ancient trees and glistening streams. Steeped in tradition and culture, the New Forest is a place where history comes alive through its charming villages, historic sites, and welcoming locals. Whether one seeks tranquillity in its serene surroundings or embarks on an adventure through its various walking trails, the New Forest never fails to leave a lasting impression of its timeless allure and natural grandeur.

Praise for New Forest Folklore by Vikki Bramshaw

"Here is an intimate and detailed portrait of The New Forest from one well acquainted with the geography and character of its landscapes – its history, traditions, flora, fauna and eldritch presences. Traversing timeworn tracks, our guide reveals the sacred loci of spring, mound and ancient tree and shines a lantern-light upon the local customs, charms and magic of those who lived and worked the Royal Forest, where the ways of witchcraft and occultism quietly thrived and flourished forth influentially into the present."

~ Gemma Gary, author of Traditional Witchcraft - The Cornish Book of Ways and The Black Toad.

"An enchanting glimpse into one of the most beautiful and ancient areas of England. The energy and magic of the New Forest is wonderfully captured in this book. History like this needs to be documented and handed down for generations to come, lest it be lost in the mists of time which would be a tragedy. Obviously a labour of love, the author shares her personal insight and experiences along with incredibly detailed research for this captivating countryside. If you are even the slightest bit intrigued about the New Forest area and the history and folklore, this book is a must."

~ Rachel Patterson, author of Witchcraft into the Wilds and the Kitchen Witchcraft series.

"This book is a fantastic insight into the New Forest from a perspective that encompasses history, archaeology, folklore, witchcraft, environment and the people who have occupied this area over time. Forest Law and terrain have done much to give this area its unique character and preserve the ancient woodlands within it. Vikki Bramshaw clearly has a great attachment to the Forest, has absorbed its lore and nature and here presents her learning in a page-turning and informative way."

~ Brian Hoggard, author of ‘Magical House Protection: The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft’ published by Berghahn Books, 2019.

196 pages. Paperback & Kindle editions are available.