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The Tradition of Pannage

2nd Oct 2019

Just when you thought the New Forest wildlife couldn't get any more idyllic we introduce you to the tradition of Pannage. Occuring every Autumn, Pannage is a much adored tradition in the area and here we will explain all about the heroic pigs of the forest.

The Tradition of Pannage Pigs | Montagu Arms

Dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, Pannage sees 600 domestic pigs released into the forest to forage the land for acorns, beechmast, chestnuts and other nuts which have fallen from trees, as these are poisonous to the New Forest ponies. This process lasts a minimum of 60 days and is known as Pannage. 

So not to get too carried away, each pig has several rings attached to their nose to prevent them from rooting too much which can cause damage to the grassland.

Pannage season

These greedy heroes can be found roaming around villages, road sides and the heathland during the months of September, October and November. Whilst Pannage is very helpful for the environment, it also makes for a great photo. Be sure to not miss it!


As the season of soft mists and golden hues roll across the ancient moorlands of the New Forest, there’s nowhere better to embrace the great British autumn than from the cosy, luxurious surroundings of The Montagu Arms. 

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The Tradition of Pannage | Montagu Arms Hotel

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