Author Archives: newforestcommoner

About newforestcommoner

Keeping the history, ecology and cultural traditions of the New Forest alive through practice of 'commoning'. Sharing information about #NewForest & #commoning.

New Forest: get the picture?

Autumn in the New Forest is a spectacular time of year. The warm colours of orange, russet, and red that are on display in the canopies of the trees and over the heathland contrast with the wintry temperatures on clear … Continue reading

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New Forest: warm welcomes and creature comforts

I went to visit a friend of mine recently for a long overdue catch up over a mug of coffee. This particular friend, a lady with a widespread knowledge of the New Forest, comes from a long established commoning family … Continue reading

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New Forest: autumn activity, tradition and festival

Autumn is always a busy season for farmer, smallholder and commoner alike. It is also a time of ritual, tradition, and festival that reminds us of our connection to the natural or, indeed, supernatural world. Michaelmas, which signals the end … Continue reading

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New Forest: old records show crime and lies do not pay

Every now and then I get the chance to sit down and read the newspaper as part of my job. Quite often though, the newspaper in question dates from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. These historical broadsheets make fascinating reading … Continue reading

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New Forest: animals ‘bottom flossing’

I was talking to some ‘griddler’ friends of mine recently about the joys of living inside the New Forest perambulation. (A griddler is a local term for a non-commoning person who lives inside the cattle-grid zone of the New Forest.) … Continue reading

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New Forest: ponies and pigs can be friends

Autumn is definitely here. Pannage season is upon us and the annual pony drifts are currently underway*. During the drifts the semi-feral ponies and foals are rounded up for inspection, released back onto the Forest or taken away to be … Continue reading

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New Forest: pannage, a piggy priority

One of the most significant periods in the New Forest calendar starts in mid-to-late September, when the trees begin to cast their fruit, in the form of acorns, beech-mast and chestnuts. Known as ‘pannage’ it is a time when pigs … Continue reading

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New Forest: evening barbecues and uninvited guests

A recent spell of mild, sunny weather finally brought forth the idea of having a barbecue to my mind. What could be more pleasant than to invite a few friends over to enjoy an alfresco feast in an English country … Continue reading

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New Forest: trees – our natural and cultural assets

Without a doubt, the free-roaming animals of the New Forest are an asset to the local economy and, as ‘architects of the Forest’, are one of the most important bio-forces that sustain the ecology and environmental constituency of the landscape. … Continue reading

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New Forest: biblical weather of yesteryear

This week our annual, late-summer appointment with the chimney sweep occurred, and just as well because there have been a few nights over the past week or so that I’ve been sorely tempted to light a fire in the hearth. … Continue reading

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