Magic in The New Forest
Something Magical is Happening in The New Forest!
As the season changes in the forest and by sea enchanted , a whole new colour scheme comes into play. The miriad of green trees which provides a canopy for the woodland creatures, roaming ponies, donkeys and deer during the spring and summer ,starts to explode with the colours of the autumn. Changing its palette to gold & pink, orange, reds and copper, it creates a warm cosy glow as you wander through the trees. The heathland, covered in yellow gorse and purple heather becomes dotted with juicy blackberries and shiny red hawthorns and foragers pluck the tasty fruit ready to make jams, pies and crumble!
Pigs and Pannage
Autumn also signals the time for pannage – known as ‘Common of Mast’, which is one of six ancient rights accorded to “commoners” – commoners of The New Forest are people whose land or property has ancient forest rights attached to it . Pannage dates back from the era of William the Conqueror and is believed to be unique in the UK.
Hoovering up the Acorns
During common of mast, commoners turn out their domestic pigs onto the forest to hoover up all the acorns! A pig can pick up an acorn and break its outside shell, getting to the tasty kernel inside….whereas if a pony eats too many acorns the tannins in them can damage their liver. And so the pigs have their fill and the ponies are kept safe! The pigs are allowed to roam through the forest and are called back in around November 14th when the acorn season comes to an end.
Come on down to Milford on Sea
So if you go down to the forest today – watch out for the piggies pannage! The New Forest in autumn is perfect for roaming the ancient woodland, a pub lunch by an open fire and then popping in to say hello @tradewindsgallery in Milford on Sea to peruse some of our local artisans fabulous work and top of the day with a brisk walk by the seaside!