The New Forest has some very odd and rude-sounding place names including Sandy Balls, Burnt Balls, Anthony’s Bee Bottom and Little Stubby Hat. You can make some exotic trips without leaving The New Forest, there are places called Canada, Bohemia and Normandy.Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, nursing heroine Florence Nightingale and Alice Hargreaves, the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, are all buried in The New Forest. The New Forest is home to some rare and important plants and animals including the Wild Gladiolus, the Southern Blue Damselfly and the Sand Lizard. The Dartford Warbler has also been sighted here in the heathlands of gorse and heather. Look for them at RSPB reserves at Arne, Dorset, Aylesbeare, Devon; and North Warren Suffolk. Also try Dunwich Heath, Suffolk, the Surrey and Dorset heathlands as well as The New Forest.
Pannage in The New Forest:
Pannage is the practice of releasing domestic pigs in a forest, so that they can feed on fallen acorns, beechmast, chestnuts or other nuts. Historically, it was a right or privilege granted to local people on common land or in royal forests.In the eastern shires of England, pannage was so prominent a value in the economic importance of woodland that it was often employed, as in Domesday Book (1086) as a measurement. Edward Hasted quotes the Domesday Survey details for Norton in Kent. "Wood for the pannage of forty hogs".Pannage is no longer carried out in most areas, but is still observed in the New Forest where it is also known as common of mast. Pigs can safely eat acorns as a large part of their diet, whereas excessive amounts can be poisonous to the forest ponies and cattle.The minimum duration of the New Forest pannage season is 60 days, but the start date varies according to the weather – and when the acorns fall. The Court of Verderers decides when pannage will start each year. At other times pigs are not allowed to roam on the forest, with the exception that breeding sows (known as "privileged sows") are by custom allowed out, providing that they return to the owner's holding at night and are not a nuisance. The pigs each have several nose rings clipped into their noses to prevent them rooting too much and causing damage to grassland.
Common of Mast (The One Show BBC)
Watch Kate Beavan travel to the New Forest during "Common of Mast" when pigs are released into the forest to munch on acorns, which helps minimise acorn poisoning in New Forest ponies.
Some interesting facts about the New Forest
The New Forest is one of Britain’s newest and smallest national parks, designated in 2005. It has an area of 218 square miles that include 86 square miles of woodland, 61 square miles of heathland and grassland, 57 square miles of farmland, 26 miles of coastland and141 miles of footpaths. The total visitor volumes using the New Forest Park is estimated at 13,555,400 visitor days (excluding business tourists and personal and social visits to friends and relatives).Total spending associated with leisure visits to the New Forest National Park is estimated at around £107.6 million. It is estimated that spending within the New Forest on leisure trips amounts to £72 million, and the total number of actual jobs sustained directly and indirectly in the New Forest by visitor activity is estimated to be 2,451. There is an estimated £12.5 million income generated by camping and caravanning alone.The highest point in the New Forest is Pipers Wait, near Nomansland. Its summit is 129 metres (423 feet) above sea level.ReferenceThe tallest tree a giant sequoia on the Rhinefield Drive was 51.10m 2012-03. The height of this tree was measured by climbing with direct tape drop by Waldo Etherington of "Canopy Access", a group of professional treeclimbers also climbing for research in tropical rainforests. This was reported by David Alderman of the Tree Register of the British Isles.Evidence can be found now of the height being 178ft (55m) but cannot be confirmed by The New Forest Guide.Only half of the New Forest area is wooded. The New Forest is also home to heather-blanketed heaths, lawns, farmland, and even coastal marshes and mudflats.The New Forest is home to some 700 wild flower species, about a third of Britain’s total, and 2,700 different fungi. Deer, newts, bats, and all three nativeBritish snakes live here, including the adder, Britain’s only poisonous snake.The New Forest has a population of 172,000 people, 35,000 living within the National Park area but its most famous inhabitants are the 3,000 or so four-legged locals known as The New Forest Ponies. These animals are free to roam where they will, as they have for centuries, but they are actually owned by commoners with rights of pasture in the park. This unique pony breed traces its lineage back nearly a thousand years.Shipbuilding took place in the 18th-century village of Buckler’s Hard on the Beaulieu River where local oaks were crafted into ships that served in the fleet Admiral Lord Nelson led to victory at Trafalgar. Some Middle Eastern countries once imported New Forest conifers to become masts for their traditional dhows. Rufus Stone William the Conqueror’s son, King William Rufus (William II), was killed while hunting in the New Forest. On 2 August 1100, William died when he was shot by an arrow. It was accepted as an accident, but could have been an assassination. It has been suggested that his alleged slayer, Walter Tirel, was acting under orders from William's younger brother, Henry, who promptly seized the throne as Henry I. The spot where he supposedly fell is now marked by the Rufus Stone.