The bogs of the New Forest are extensive and contribute much of the character of the New Forest. They demand your greatest respect.
In the summer, the bright green Sphagnum moss can be seen at the base of the heather. A gentle squeeze will fill your boot with masses of stagnant water. Also found are the little red rosettes of the Sundew plant. Rare elesewhere in Britain, the Sundew is noted for its sticky hairs which trap and eat insects. The shrub Bog Myrtle lends an all-pervading fragrance, together with the pretty yellow stars of the Bog Aspodel, Club Mosses, and the purple flowered Marsh Gentian.The distinctive white tufts of the Cotton Grass appear in the worst areas, and are a warning sign not to venture into a treacherous area.
Deep in the heart of the oldest parts of the forest, shooting up from the violets in Spring, the vivid yellow heads of the Spurge can be found besides the deepest green of the Butcher's Broom. This latter plant is very unusual. It has spiky 'leaves' which are in reality flattened stems. The proof of this is the tiny white star-like flowers which can be found on close inspection of the centre of the 'leaf'. These develop over many months into stunning red fruits. The presence of spurge and butcher's broom together is an strong indicator of an ancient wood.