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Saturday, 31 October 2020

Pigs, Pannage, The New Forest and Low Carb Provencal Pumpkin Tian

It seems to have been a bumper year for acorns, the squirrels are loving them as well as their usual seeds and plant material.


However, in the New Forest, which is in Southern England, UK acorns can be a problem because for ponies and cattle large quantities of them can be poisonous. However, pigs can eat acorns without a problem and this is where, along with grazing, pannage is still an important part of the New Forest's ecology. Pannage always lasts at least 60 days, but the start date varies according to the weather – and when the acorns fall. "For 2020, pannage in the New Forest begins on Monday 14th September and has been extended to 21st December. This is due to a bumper crop of acorns across the forest.

The practice of pannage (also known as ‘Common of mast’) dates all the way back to the time of William the Conqueror, who founded the New Forest in 1079.


Why do we have pannage?
The pigs are released onto the forest to eat the fallen acorns, beech-mast, chestnuts and other nuts that are on the forest floor, which are poisonous to New Forest ponies and cattle! Each year, there are around 600 pigs and piglets that are released around the New Forest to make their way through all of the acorns and nuts.

Did you know that back in the 19th century, the number of pigs released for pannage was as high as 6,000? – That’s a lot of pigs!

There are quite a few different breeds of pigs that you will see on the forest, including Tamworth, Gloucestershire Old Spot, the British Saddleback and the Wessex Saddleback. All pigs must be fitted with a ring in their nose, which enables them to forage through leaf litter and other vegetation on the surface, but stops them from rooting into the ground with their snouts causing damage to the Forest.


Did you know that the New Forest is one of the only places left in the UK that still practices pannage?

Where can you see the pigs?
It’s difficult to specify specific locations, as they move around so much throughout pannage. However, you can often see them running through the quaint village of Bramshaw or around the popular Bolderwood. Burley is also a good place to see them at times. Most of the time, it’s down to luck if you do get to see them!

For their safety and your own, please do not approach the pigs (or any other animals in the New Forest) and do not try to feed them, they’ll have plenty of yummy food with all the acorns and nuts on the floor. Please also ensure that you keep dogs under control and on a short lead when near the pigs.

As well as looking out for the piggies, there’s lots of other things to do in the New Forest during the autumn months, like enjoying a relaxing stroll through the ancient woodland full of yellow, orange, red colours!" (Covid restrictions allowing)
Words above and more here

Have you tried this recipe? Just 8g carbs per serving.
Provencal Pumpkin Tian
lovely Autumn / Fall Food - more details here


As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! 

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

31 comments:

Valerie-Jael said...

Very interesting to learn about pannage, the pigs do important work and enjoy it. And your food looks yummy! Have a good and safe weekend, Valerie

Conniecrafter said...

very interesting post, I did not know about them and why I have seen rings in their noses, so neat that they still use them in this way in certain areas. It sounds like this area would be fun to visit!

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

What an interesting story, I could use a few of the pigs to eat the acorns off our driveway. The recipe sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Have a happy weekend!

L said...

👍👍👍👍👍❤️

It's me said...

Happy weekend...love Zria 🍀🧡🍄🍁🌽🍂🌻🎃🍀

Ela said...

Beautiful animals ! I really like squirrels !
Happy weekend !

J C said...

I loved learning about pannage. What a good idea to let the pigs out. Feeds them, saves others. Those are some pretty big pics in that picture!

Phil Slade said...

I'd never heard of pannage until now. Very interesting. I had noticed that a squirrel (or more than one squirrel) has spent time in our garden burying acorns. I found the holes later. And then a Magpie has been around much more, looking for the acorns that the squirrel buried.

Tom said...

...tian is something new to me.

Elephant's Child said...

What a fascinating story - and delicious looking dish. Thank you.

Christine said...

I never knew what pannage was, thank you. The Tian looks delicious.

Betty said...

I had never heard of pannage and didnt know acorns could harm horses, thank you for a really interesting post with some great piggy pictures :)

Shari Burke said...

Fascinating! Thanks for an interesting read!

Laura. M said...

En la zona donde vivo hay ganado porcino, Salamanca y comarca es famosa por sus embutidos.
Buen fin de semana. Cuídate.
Un abrazo.

Lorrie said...

I learned a new bit of English history today here. So interesting. And I have a pumpkin that needs attention...

Our photos said...

Very interesting !

happyone said...

Very interesting about the pigs, never knew that before!!

DVArtist said...

I had no idea. This is a very interesting post with some great knowledge.

Lisabella Russo said...

I had never heard of pannage, it sounds lovely and the recipe looks delicious!

My name is Erika. said...

I didn't know about pannage, and it is a really interesting custom. And smart too. Thanks for sharing. And pumpkin flan-now that sounds really good. Happy new month!

NatureFootstep said...

lol I did not know what pannage was, but now I do :) Yes, many animals loves acorn. :)

Iris Flavia said...

Interesting, I never knew!

Giorgio said...

Interesting post about the practice of pannage ... I didn't know the pigs may damage the forest's ground.
I will try the provencal pumpkin recipi.
Have a nice Sunday

Jo said...

I didn't know anything about pannage, what a great way to feed the pigs and avoid harm coming to other animals from the acorns.

sandy said...

Interesting about the pigs - it's like when they bring goats to an area to graze and then move them to different areas.

pam nash said...

Very interesting and good to know someplace still does things that works for the ecology.

Snowbird said...

I loved seeing the pigs in Bolderwood last time we visited. I think the New Forest is such a magical place. I did enjoy this.xxx

Martha said...

So interesting! First time I hear about pannage.

Teresa said...

Esa practica o algo parecido se hacía antes por aquí, los cerdos se quedaban unos meses en las dehesas hasta que se terminaban las bellotas y se llama " montanera " Besos.

Jeanie said...

I always learn something when I come here but I didn't think I'd ever be learning about pigs! How interesting! And fun to see them in your beautiful England.

DMS said...

I don't recall ever hearing of pannage. Learned a lot here today. :)
~Jess