When I discovered that I had ‘Rights of Common’ attached to my New Forest smallholding I knew that becoming a ‘commoner’ would give me a rare opportunity to learn about an ancient pastoral system, as well as becoming part of a unique community.
I quickly realised that commoning on the New Forest is as deeply rooted in the history, culture and social traditions of this amazing landscape, as it is in its ecology and environment. My rights entitle me to ‘depasture’ ponies, cattle and donkeys on the Open Forest and claim the title of ‘commoner’. I currently have a few mares and their offspring turned out, and by observing them through the seasons I am also learning about the social relationships in free-roaming, semi-feral equines.
This website has been created for me to share information about the New Forest and commoning. As well as my own personal experiences, I also provide historical information about the cultural, ecological and political history of the New Forest and the practice of commoning in these pages and via Twitter @Forest_Commoner.
If you would like to share your New Forest stories, images or items of interest please contact me via info@ newforestcommoner.co.uk.
New Forest Commoner