Tag Archives: Commoner

Christmas on the New Forest

With Christmas fast approaching I have been thinking about some of the New Forest traditions and folklore connected to the festive season. The idea was sparked during a recent visit to check my stock, when I saw a man harvesting … 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: autumn drifts in

A sure sign of autumn in the commoner’s calendar is the commencement of the pony drifts that take place each year. The drifts are round-ups that are conducted by the Agisters and commoners with the aim of collecting together as … 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: 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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