Tag Archives: Commoner

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: 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: ‘modern Vandalism’ in the C19th

In 1871 George Briscoe Eyre, the owner of the Bramshaw (or Warren’s) Estate, wrote that’ although a nation of tourists, the English are strangely apt to overlook the claims of their own country upon their attention and its exceptional variety … Continue reading

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New Forest: natural connections

In the last few weeks it has been my absolute pleasure and privilege to be invited into the homes of several long-established commoning families and spend time in their company. Congregating in the kitchen seems to be the standard practice, … Continue reading

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New Forest: £5000 reward for finding ‘Hit & Run’ drivers

The Open Court sessions at the Verderers’ Court are a great way to learn about the Forest’s management and see one of its ancient institutions in action. Each month (except August and December) the public are welcome to attend and … Continue reading

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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

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New Forest: C19th waste land or allotments

On this day (28th May) in 1870, it was reported in the Hampshire Advertiser that Southampton residents and those in the surrounding neighbourhood, had held a meeting in the Guildhall to discuss enclosing the New Forest for agricultural purposes. [In the … Continue reading

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New Forest: different views of the same landscape

I have really been enjoying the sepia colours of the frost-covered Forest recently; and came across a passage in a book recently that stuck a chord with me because I felt that it summed up, quite poetically, the seasons on … Continue reading

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New Forest: signs of the times

As my regular readers will know, the drift season has started. The season runs from August until November and entails rounding up the ponies across the New Forest in a series of drifts that take place in approximately 40 locations. … Continue reading

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