Category Archives: New Forest

New Forest: when gorse is out of bloom, kissing is out of season

The recent holiday period has given me plenty of opportunity to visit the Forest and walk through the woods and across the heathland. The working week gives me little chance to explore the places my ponies haunt (i,e., their territory), … Continue reading

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New Forest: practical gift for herding cattle

Commoners are practical people. Indeed, one of the most useful gifts I’ve ever been given is a commoner’s staff. I take it with me everywhere, because I never know when I’ll need it. The best ones are made from wood, … Continue reading

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New Forest: kitchen/office turns into bird-hide

I’ve been spending a lot of time working from home recently. I’ve turned a corner of the kitchen into an impromptu office and the end of the kitchen table has become my desk. This is a perfect spot and, because … Continue reading

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New Forest: low temperatures and good nourishment

Winter is definitely on the way. As I go out checking my free roaming stock on the New Forest I’m wearing more layers than of late. I’m also in the habit of keeping my gloves on the radiator in the … Continue reading

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New Forest: celebrating Carta de Foresta 1217

Bonfire Night, Fireworks Night, or Guy Fawkes Night, call it what you may, is a tradition that commemorates a failed plot to blow up the House of Lords and assisinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland with … Continue reading

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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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