Folklore and Customs

Shick – Shack day – 29 May

When King Charles II hid for a day in an massive oak tree to escape the Roundheads, he began a tradition known in Hampshire as Shick – Shack day.

It is also known as Oak Apple day (the oak apple being the growth created by a wasp larvae) or Restoration Day. It is a celebration of the restoration King Charles II to the throne in 1661 and it takes place on the 29th May each year, (the King’s birthday).

Witchcraft in Burley

Witchcraft has played a major role in Burley’s past. The village’s most famous resident lived here during the 1950s – a white witch named Sybil Leek. She wandered through the village with her pet jackdaw and was an authority on New Forest life.


Butser Ancient Farm hosts the annual Beltain Festival

Colt Pixies

These pixies take on the form of a pale horse and lead the wild horses of the New Forest into bogs. The phrase “as ragged as a colt pixie” was common in the New Forest.