Tag Archives: deer

New Forest: get the picture?

Autumn in the New Forest is a spectacular time of year. The warm colours of orange, russet, and red that are on display in the canopies of the trees and over the heathland contrast with the wintry temperatures on clear … 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: trees – our natural and cultural assets

Without a doubt, the free-roaming animals of the New Forest are an asset to the local economy and, as ‘architects of the Forest’, are one of the most important bio-forces that sustain the ecology and environmental constituency of the landscape. … 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: the hunters and the hunted

The history of the New Forest is very closely intertwined with that of hunting. Indeed, it was for that very purpose that the New Forest was established nearly a thousand years ago. Royal hunting favoured red deer but also extended … Continue reading

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New Forest: fallow deer and the rut

The autumn months in the New Forest herald the breeding activity of fallow deer (Dama dama). The rutting season begins in September and peaks in late October. As the foliage changes colour into the russets, oranges and yellows of late … Continue reading

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New Forest ponies: search and find or hide and seek?

The New Forest has taken on a completely different look and feel since the onset of late autumn. Many of the birds that were regularly encountered over the summer months have, like the tourists, migrated elsewhere. The atmosphere is tranquil … Continue reading

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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

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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: fence month

William the Conqueror, who is credited with establishing the New Forest in the 11th century, was a keen huntsman and created laws of venison and vert to protect his quarry and its habitat. The forest laws that he introduced were … Continue reading

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