Tag Archives: round-up

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: autumn leaves and falling temperatures

If you have walked out onto the Forest recently, you will no doubt have been impressed by the variety of colours across the heathland and woods. Some of the higher elevations of the Forest provide spectacular views over the landscape … 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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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, which aim to collect together as many … Continue reading

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New Forest: pony breeding through the ages.

Anticipation is mounting across the Forest, as the annual Stallion Inspection approaches. Owners will currently be working with their ponies to ensure that they are prepared for the show ring and can walk and trot whilst being led and are … Continue reading

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New Forest: winter is coming

The warm weather of late (September 2015) has been a welcome accompaniment as I perform the last of the autumn harvesting. Most of the vegetables from the raised beds have been picked and preserved ready for use over the winter. The … Continue reading

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New Forest: autumn is here and the drifts are underway

Autumn has arrived. The heathland, woods and lawns wear a pale blanket of mist in the early mornings and the heathland is mantled in purple heather. The blackberries shine like jewels in the hedgerows and great quantities of sloes decorate … Continue reading

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Bringing the ponies home.

When the clocks go back each autumn the daylight hours become fewer and the weather is generally more inclement. It’s a testing time for the commoners and can make searching for stock on the Open Forest quite an undertaking. I … Continue reading

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Commoning: cooperation and coordination

The practice of commoning on the New Forest is generally a very sociable enterprise. The support and cooperation of other commoners is essential for maintaining the welfare of the free-roaming stock. When I go out on the Forest I always … 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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