Due to the large crop of acorns this year, it has been agreed by the Forestry Commission and New Forest Verderers that there will be an extension of the Pannage Season and pigs may remain on the Forest until Sunday 15th December 2013.
Pannage (also known as the Common of Mast) is the practice of releasing domestic pigs onto the Forest in order that they may feed on fallen acorns, beech mast and chestnuts. It is an historical right granted to local people on common land or in royal forests.
The New Forest is one of the few areas where this common right is still observed. Pigs can eat large amounts of acorns with no ill effect but they are poisonous to ponies and cattle in view of the large amounts of toxic tannins they contain.