Laser mapping uncovers secrets of the New Forest

Ancient secrets of the New Forest have been revealed thanks to high-tech images beamed back by lasers from aircraft.

More than 3,500 archaeological sites have been uncovered, including prehistoric field systems, Bronze Age burial mounds and an Iron Age hill fort.

Many of these landmarks were hidden under dense forest until National Park archaeologists used a plane to fire harmless laser beams into the ground to build a 3D map of the surface.

The Light Detection and Ranging technology (LiDAR) can penetrate the tree canopy, revealing features which cannot be seen by other means.

The New Forest is the first National Park in the country to have its entire landscape surveyed by LiDAR.