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Thursday, 22nd August, 2002 12:00 BST
Forest wildlife - pigs
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Pig
A pig on Forest land during pannage season
tiny All the pigs in the Forest are owned by Commoners. Each year they are allowed onto open forest land for 60 days, known as pannage season, to eat acorns which would otherwise poison the ponies.
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You may be delighted at the sight of pigs in the Forest but they will chase you if you go near them, so give them some space! You should never try to feed them. Pannage is an important part of the forest ecology. Pigs can eat acorns without a problem, whereas to ponies the acorns are poisonous.

Pig
A pig takes a look around Fritham
Pannage always lasts 60 days but the start date varies according to the weather - and when the acorns fall.

The Forest Verderers decide when pannage will start.. The right to allow pigs out onto the Forest in this way is called the 'right of mast' and is not held by all commoners.

At other times the pigs must be taken in and kept on the owners own land, with one exception. Pregnant pigs, known as "privileged sows" are always allowed out.


 
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