Tag Archives: cattle

New Forest & Hampshire County Show 2016

One of the highlights in the calendar of any New Forest commoner has got to be the New Forest & Hampshire County Show. The show was originally conceived just after WW1, as a way to support farmers and develop agricultural … Continue reading

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Ragwort: friend or foe?

I’ve recently begun the task of checking for and clearing any ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) from my hay meadow and the paddocks that my field-kept ponies will be using during the summer. This is one of those essential jobs in pasture management … Continue reading

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New Forest: self medication and creature comforts

The free-roaming ponies, cows, donkeys and, during pannage, pigs on the New Forest are usually able to take care of themselves and do not require the constant attention required by their intensively farmed or field-kept counterparts. Even the process of giving … Continue reading

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The ticklish impertinence of the New Forest fly

In 1895 a local newspaper published ‘Notes on Injurious Insects’.[1] Chief among these perilous mini-beasts was the forest fly (Hippobosca equina) aka horse louse fly, side-fly or crab-fly, a bloodsucking pest that ‘causes great annoyance to the horses in the … Continue reading

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New Forest: ‘animal aware’ road users.

In 1903 at Brook occurred the first death of a New Forest animal, a pony, caused by a motor vehicle. Since then livestock injuries and fatalities have become a sad but regular statistic. Information about road traffic incidents, involving commonable … 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: poachers, smugglers and amorous donkeys!

During a trip to the New Forest recently I happened to pass through a village where a cricket match was taking place. All the players were dressed in white and the pitch was a manicured village green that was surrounded … 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: foals and fawns

Regular visitors to the New Forest will, hopefully, by now have had a chance to see some of the pony and donkey foals that are currently to be found roaming on the Open Forest. They are charming little additions to … Continue reading

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New Forest: heathland management and controlled burning

Visitors to the northern part of the New Forest recently (Febuary 2015) may have witnessed a technique for managing the heathland that has been practiced for generations, namely controlled burning. The Forestry Commission undertakes this activity now, which aims to … Continue reading

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