In the New Forest
Every autumn pannage season comes around, allowing the local’s pigs to roam the New Forest with the ponies, cattle and donkeys, to snuffle up all the acorns which have fallen from the trees as they are poisonous to both ponies and cattle. Along with acorns the pigs hoover up beech mast, crab apples and anything else their snouts can rummage through and find.
Each year the pannage season dates are chosen by the New Forest Verderers and Forestry Commission and is based on different seasonal variations. This year the pigs were set free on 12th September and expected back in their homes by 13th November. Across the whole of the New Forest it is expected up to 600 pigs will be digging their way through the forest floor.
Unlike the New Forest pony there isn’t a New Forest pig, so if you go out in search of them you’ll come across several breeds including: The Tamworth pig which blends in with its autumnal surroundings due to having an orange or rusty red coat. The Gloucestershire Old Spots pig is one of the easiest to spot. It is also known as the cottagers pig as it is widely used in small scale farming and is popular for this across the New Forest. The British Saddleback pig is another easy to spot across the New Forest due to its distinctive colouring. This breed is almost entirely black apart from a band or sheet of white covering its shoulders.
If you’re staying with us or just visiting the new forest and wish to see these pigs then here’s where we have spotted them so far: throughout Burley (often spotted next to Moorhill House Hotel’s drive), Beaulieu heathland, Brockenhurst, and Wilverley.
If you find them remember to be quiet and gentle. If you manage to get any pictures then tag us in them as we’d love to see.