Pannage

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Men knocking down acorns to feed swine, from the 14th century English Queen Mary Psalter, MS. Royal 2 B VII f.81v Pannage.jpg
Men knocking down acorns to feed swine, from the 14th century English Queen Mary Psalter , MS. Royal 2 B VII f.81v
Modern-day pannage, or common of mast, in the New Forest Pannage in the New Forest.JPG
Modern-day pannage, or common of mast, in the New Forest

Pannage (also referred to as Eichelmast/Eckerich in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia & Croatia) is the practice of releasing livestock-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. [1]

Livestock Animals kept for production of meat, eggs, milk, wool, etc.

Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats. Horses are considered livestock in the United States. The USDA classifies pork, veal, beef, and lamb as livestock and all livestock as red meat. Poultry and fish are not included in the category.

Domestic pig domesticated animal

The domestic pig, often called swine, hog, or simply pig when there is no need to distinguish it from other pigs, is a domesticated large, even-toed ungulate. It is variously considered a subspecies of the Eurasian boar or a distinct species. The domestic pig's head-plus-body-length ranges from 0.9 to 1.8 m, and adult pigs typically weigh between 50 and 350 kg, with well-fed individuals often exceeding this weight range. The size and weight of a hog largely depends on its breed. Compared to other artiodactyls, its head is relatively long, pointed, and free of warts. Even-toed ungulates are generally herbivorous, but the domestic pig is an omnivore, like its wild relative.

Forest dense collection of trees covering a relatively large area

A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the widely used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares (9.9×109 acres) (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006.

Pannage had two very useful purposes in Medieval times: in rooting around looking for nuts, they also turned the soil and broke it. The advantage of pigs rooting into it was that the soil was kept from packing down and would release nutrients for plant growth. It was also a method of fattening the pigs quickly for slaughter.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Especially 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. Customarily, a pig was given to the lord of the manor for every certain number of pigs loosed de herbagio, as the right of pannage was entered. [1] Edward Hasted quotes the Domesday Survey details for Norton in Kent. "Wood for the pannage of forty hogs". [2]

Domesday Book 11th-century survey of landholding in England as well as the surviving manuscripts of the survey

Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

Then, at the midwinter [1085], was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."

Lord of the manor title from the feudal system of manorialism

Lord of the manor is a title given to a person holding the lordship of a manor in the Anglo-Saxon system of manorialism which emanated from feudalism in English and Irish history. In modern England and Wales, it is recognised as a form of property, one of three elements of a manor that may exist separately or be combined, and may be held in moieties:

  1. the title ;
  2. the manorial, comprising the manor and/or its land; and
  3. the seignory, rights granted to the titular holder of the manor.

Edward Hasted was an English antiquarian and pioneering historian of his ancestral home county of Kent. As such, he was the author of a major county history, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent (1778–99).

Pannage is no longer carried out in most areas, but is still observed in the New Forest of Southern England, where it is also known as common of mast. It is still an important part of the forest ecology, and helps the husbandry of the other New Forest livestock – pigs can safely eat acorns as a large part of their diet, whereas excessive amounts may be poisonous to ponies and cattle.

New Forest area of southern England

The New Forest is one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, covering southwest Hampshire and southeast Wiltshire.

Southern England Place in England

Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, refers roughly to the southern counties of England. The extent of this area can take a number of different interpretations depending on the context, including geographical, cultural, political and economic.

Ecology Scientific study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment

Ecology is a branch of biology that studies the interactions among organisms and their biophysical environment, which includes both biotic and abiotic components. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits.

The minimum duration of the New Forest pannage season is 60 days, [3] 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.

In the New Forest a verderer is an unpaid officer whose duty is to regulate and protect the interests of the New Forest commoners, and to preserve the natural beauty and good traditional character of the Forest. There are currently ten verderers who together constitute the Court of Verderers.

Related Research Articles

Plumstead district of South East London located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich

Plumstead is an area of South East London within the Royal Borough of Greenwich. It is located east of Woolwich.

Common land land owned collectively

Common land is land owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect wood, or to cut turf for fuel.

Acorn fruit/nut of the oak tree

The acorn, or oaknut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives. It usually contains a single seed, enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns are 1–6 cm (0.39–2.36 in) long and 0.8–4 cm (0.31–1.57 in) broad. Acorns take between 6 and 24 months to mature; see the list of Quercus species for details of oak classification, in which acorn morphology and phenology are important factors.

Royal forest Type of formally designated woodland in Great Britain

A royal forest, occasionally "Kingswood", is an area of land with different definitions in England, Wales, and Scotland. The term forest in the ordinary modern understanding refers to an area of wooded land; however, the original medieval sense was closer to the modern idea of a "preserve" – i.e. land legally set aside for specific purposes such as royal hunting – with less emphasis on its composition. There are also differing and contextual interpretations in Continental Europe derived from the Carolingian and Merovingian legal systems.

Luddenham, Kent village in the United Kingdom

Luddenham is a widespread hamlet or small village north-west of Faversham in Kent, England, with many long distance views across the Swale and the Isle of Sheppey. It is on the edge of Luddenham Marshes and is also home of Luddenham School. Oare Gunpowder Works are on the edge of the village. It had, according to Edward Hasted in 1798, 396 acres of low flat arable land and 200 acres of meadow and pasture, although half of those are marsh. It is in the civil parish of Norton, Buckland and Stone.

Cliffe Woods

Cliffe Woods is a small estate on the Hoo Peninsula in the unitary authority of Medway in South East England. It was, until 1998, part of Kent and is still ceremonially associated via the Lieutenancies Act. It forms part of the parish of Cliffe and Cliffe Woods.

East Peckham village in the United Kingdom

East Peckham is a large scattered community in Kent, England, made up of nine hamlets centred about 5 miles (8 km) east of Tonbridge, straddling the River Medway which it takes as part of its eastern border. It was economically focussed on hop growing and other agriculture, in which sector plant growing remains economically important, including two garden centres. Its Beltring neighbourhood hosts the The Hop Farm Country Park, including outdoor cinema, escape room and two restaurants and the world's largest collection of Oast Houses. The Hale Street large neighbourhood in the east benefits from a bypass to the A228 road and the east is externally flanked by the Medway Valley Line, including Beltring railway station.

Mast is the fruit of forest trees and shrubs, such as acorns and other nuts. The term derives from the Old English mæst, meaning the nuts of forest trees that have accumulated on the ground, especially those used historically for fattening domestic pigs, and as food resources for wildlife. In the aseasonal tropics of Southeast Asia, entire forests, including hundreds of species of trees and shrubs, are known to mast at irregular periods of 2–12 years.

Charter of the Forest document granting rights to certain people, written in 1217

The Charter of the Forest of 1217 is a charter that re-established for free men rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs. Many of its provisions were in force for centuries afterwards. It was originally sealed in England by the young King Henry III, acting under the regency of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke. It was in many ways a companion document to Magna Carta, and redressed some applications of the Anglo-Norman Forest Law that had been extended and abused by William Rufus.

Berkshire pig breed of pig

Berkshire pigs, also known as Kurobuta, are a rare breed of pig originating from the English county of Berkshire that are bred and raised in several parts of the world, including England, Japan, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The Japanese designation of the breed, Kurobuta, has become like Kobe beef, a preferred branding of a premium grade of meat, that has increased the breed's popularity in the 21st century and caused this heritage breed's pork products to command a premium price.

West Peckham village in the United Kingdom

West Peckham is a village in the local government district of Tonbridge and Malling in Kent, England. The River Bourne flows through the extreme west of the parish, and formerly powered a paper mill and corn mill. The Wateringbury Stream rises in the parish. Oxon Hoath is the former manor house of West Peckham.

Penenden Heath village in United Kingdom

Penenden Heath is a suburb in the town of Maidstone in Kent, England. As the name suggests it is nucleated around a former heath.

Wessex Saddleback

The Wessex Saddleback or Wessex Pig is a breed of domestic pig originating in the West Country of England, (Wessex), especially in Wiltshire and the New Forest area of Hampshire. It is black, with white forequarters. In Britain it was amalgamated with the Essex pig to form the British Saddleback, and it is extinct as a separate breed in Britain. However, the Wessex Saddleback survives in Australia and New Zealand.

Large Black pig

The Large Black, occasionally called the Devon, Large English Black pig, English Large Black pig, Cornwall Black or Boggu, is a breed of domestic pig native to Great Britain, particularly Devon, Cornwall and Essex. The Large Black is accurately named, as it is a large swine breed and is the only British pig that is entirely black. It is a hardy and docile pig, with Large Black sows known for having large litters. The breed's foraging ability make it particularly useful for extensive farming, while a poor candidate for intensive farming.

Forest of Galtres

The royal Forest of Galtres was established by the Norman kings of England in North Yorkshire, to the north of the Ancient City of York, extending right to its very walls. The main settlement within the royal forest was the market village of Easingwold, but in 1316 the forest comprised 60 villages in 100,000 acres. The Forest of Galtres was intimately connected with York: Davygate in the city was the site of the forest court and prison, a royal liberty within the city of York; Davygate, from which the forest was administered, commemorates David Le Lardiner, whose father, John the Lardiner, was the Royal Lardiner for the Forest of Galtres, a title which became hereditary in the family. During the reign of Henry II, the Forest stood at its greatest extent, but by the fifteenth century, concerns were being voiced over the extent of deforestation.

The common land of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England, a former royal hunting forest created soon after the Norman conquest of England, covers some 6,400 acres. The map of the common land today largely dates back to 1693, when more than half the medieval Forest was taken into private hands, with the remainder being set aside as common land. The latter is today administered by a Board of Conservators. It is entirely open for public access and it is the largest area of its kind in south-east England.

Feckenham Forest

Feckenham Forest was a royal forest, centred on the village of Feckenham, covering large parts of west Worcestershire and Warwickshire. It was not entirely wooded, nor entirely the property of the King. Rather, the King had legal rights over game, wood and grazing within the forest, and special courts imposed harsh penalties when these rights were violated. Courts and the forest gaol were located at Feckenham and executions took place at Gallows Green near Hanbury.

Norton, Buckland and Stone Kent, a civil parish

Norton, Buckland and Stone is a small rural civil parish 1 mile (1.6 km) east of Teynham and 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the centre of Faversham in the borough of Swale, Kent, England. It is bypassed by the M2 to the south and traverses the historic A2, on the route of the Roman road of Watling Street.

References

  1. 1 2 H. R. Loyn, Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest, 2nd ed. 1991:369.
  2. Hasted, Edward (1798). "Parishes". The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Institute of Historical Research. 6: 401–413. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  3. Cooper, Graham. "The New Forest today: Common Rights". The New Forest. www.newforest.hampshire.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
<i>Encyclopædia Britannica</i> Eleventh Edition 1910 Encyclopedia

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