Category Archives: New Forest customs

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

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs, Pannage season | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: autumn activity, tradition and festival

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

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs, Pannage season | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: pannage, a piggy priority

New Forest: observing the month of deer defence

The commoning calendar holds many significant dates that reflect the seasons, and over time activities have developed that match the time of year. The most important of these are connected to the management of the commonable animals and include the … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: observing the month of deer defence

New Forest: pannage, pigs and wild boar

Autumn has got to be one of my favourite seasons of the year. The annual drifts are underway, the heaths and woodlands are changing colour, adding variety to the hues of the already breath-taking scenery, and pannage season has begun. … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs, Pannage season | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: pannage, pigs and wild boar

New Forest: jingling matches and donkey races

The New Forest has always enjoyed a close association with the monarchy. During the eighteenth century it was a favourite destination for George III, who would often stay with his family before moving on to the seaside town of Weymouth. … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: jingling matches and donkey races

New Forest: squirrel-pie anyone?

Like it or not, the history of the New Forest is firmly interconnected with the practice of hunting. It was for this purpose that William I established the landscape as a Royal Forest, in the eleventh century. While most people associate … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs, New Forest flora & fauna | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: squirrel-pie anyone?

New Forest: harvesting holly for Christmas.

Last month (posted December 2015), as I made my way into the New Forest to check on my ponies, I came across several contractors harvesting holly for the Christmas trade. This winter activity has long been a legitimate part of … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest customs, New Forest pony | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: harvesting holly for Christmas.

New Forest: colt pixeys, elf shot and hag stones.

I recently visited the house of a fellow commoner and noticed that outside the front door dangling from a cord was a collection of flint stones. Each stone had a hole in it through which the cord was threaded. Upon … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: colt pixeys, elf shot and hag stones.

New Forest: autumn is here and the drifts are underway

Autumn has arrived. The heathland, woods and lawns wear a pale blanket of mist in the early mornings and the heathland is mantled in purple heather. The blackberries shine like jewels in the hedgerows and great quantities of sloes decorate … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs, New Forest pony, New Forest Pony Drift | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: autumn is here and the drifts are underway

New Forest: forest laws, poaching, punishment and reform

Nowadays we think of a forest as ‘a place covered in trees’ but in medieval times it was understood to be ‘a reserve for royal hunting’. An area of forest could include whole villages and other settlements as well as … Continue reading

Posted in New Forest, New Forest customs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Forest: forest laws, poaching, punishment and reform