Category Archives: Pannage season

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: 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: the story of the pig that pointed!

During pannage season pigs undoubtedly become the favourite animal to see in the New Forest. There is nothing quite like the sight of happy porkers that have been set free to root about through the fallen leaves and undergrowth, in … Continue reading

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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

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New Forest: good fences make good neighbours.

‘Good fences make good neighbours’ is an oft-quoted phrase that could have been coined with the New Forest and its free-roaming animals in mind. Whilst the New Forest is referred to as ‘the largest tract of unenclosed land in southern … Continue reading

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New Forest: pannage season is for the pigs!

Here piggy, piggy! Pannage season is here! (14 September 2015). Just as the first sight of a swallow in the spring signals the start of summer, so too the sight of pigs loose in the New Forest heralds the beginning … Continue reading

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New Forest: modern tools and ancient practices

Commoning is an agrarian system that has been practiced on the New Forest since before the Norman Conquest in 1066 and is one of the most ancient forms of agriculture known to man. The basic principles, of farming by using … Continue reading

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New Forest Pannage Season: ‘here piggy, piggy!’

The pannage season has officially started. Residents and visitors may be lucky enough to see the traditional sight of free-roaming pigs foraging on the forest floor from now until November. The term ‘pannage’ is of late Middle English origin and … Continue reading

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Autumn: the season of tradition and heritage

Autumn is a time when the traditional rural practices and cultural heritage of the New Forest come alive. The annual drifts, or pony round-ups, that were ordered by Henry VIII in 1540, are in full progress and are still conducted … Continue reading

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