What is Pannage?
Every year at the start of autumn the ‘Pannage’ season begins in The New Forest. Pannage is the practice of releasing domestic pigs into the forest to rummage, eat and scoff their way through the thousands of acorns and other nuts that have fallen. Releasing the pigs is vital to the forests ecology, as acorns are poisonous, in large quantities, to cattle and New Forest Ponies.
By releasing the pigs into the woodland they can enjoy a diet with a high amount of acorns, which effectively clears the forest of these nuts ensuring the safety of other wildlife. This is the only time of year that the pigs are free to roam anywhere in the New Forest…they would cause too much damage if they were wild!! Pannage is also a way of fattening up the pigs for Christmas!
We don’t want to ‘boar’ you with facts, but……Did you know that an Oak tree normally starts producing acorns after about 50 years and one mature tree will shed 50,000 nuts!
So if you are out and about walking or cycling…look out for the pigs roaming the forest floors, snouting out the acorns! They are usually released around the third week in September or whenever the acorns begin to drop from the beautiful trees, and will be turned out for a minimum of 60 days.
Visit us this Autumn
Don’t be the little piggy that stayed at home this autumn….come on down to the New Forest….enjoy the wonderful countryside….and meet the pigs! New Forest Cottages has a variety of cosy cottages to choose from to suit all requirements. For further details on how to book visit our website or contact our friendly booking team on 01590 679655 who are on hand to help you find the perfect retreat.
Don’t forget to visit the most famous pig in these parts….Peppa Pig at Peppa Pig World & Paultons Park. Book one of our properties and purchase your reduced price tickets for as little as £22.25 each.
Written by Cathy Marshall.