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New Forest Shortbread is made by Tracy Thew at Burley Rails Cottage

Tracy Thew has made shortbread for family and friends for more than 50 years. In 2015 she decided to start offering her melt in the mouth shortbread to people visiting the New Forest. 

Inspired and created around the beauty of the New Forest, by 2019 Tracy had set about redesigning her packaging with 'tear-off and keep cards' and commissioned local artist Will Drew to illustrate the flora and fauna that visitors might see during their stay in the area. Will's beautiful illustrations, along with the notes, give visitors and locals information about this very special forest. 

Tracy supplies to forest hotels and recently featured in New Forest Collection's fifth episode of their 'Forest to Fork' series. Tracy also provides local holiday cottages with packets of shortbread and has expanded into a large number of local retail outlets as well as selling on-line where she offers an extensive range of delicious flavours.

To keep the homemade taste and texture, each batch of Tracy's dough is very slightly different in weight and mixing time, so the shortbread vary enough to give a variety of shape and colour once baked. 

The shortbread is delicious and makes a very special purchase.

Originally a woodman's cottage and now home to New Forest Shortbread

Burley Rails Cottage is where New Forest Shortbread has been made since 2011. The cottage was built in 1811 as a woodman’s cottage.

The woodman was responsible for the fencing to keep the Commoners animals out of the tree-growing nurseries called Inclosures or Enclosures. There are many cottages of the same design within the New Forest, most remain Crown properties and are occupied by people who have chosen to live and work in the forest such as Keepers, Agisters, Forestry workers and Crown employees. Sometimes these jobs are a lifestyle choice as these people may also be the Commoners who own the livestock, horses, cattle and pigs; de-pastured on the open forest.

These Crown cottages, being tenanted, have, apart from essential additions, remained the same for hundreds of years. Burley Rails was sold out of the then Forestry Commission and has been privately owned since the 1970’s.