Pigs would cause too much damage if they were on the Forest all year, so they’re only allowed out in autumn, when their job is to eat acorns. That’s because the other animals- especially ponies- can be sick or die if they eat too many acorns, so the pigs help by scoffing them up.
The time when pigs can be out is called the ‘pannage’ season. The dates for pannage are set by the Verderers. Usually pannage runs from late September to around Christmas, but it can go in into January if there are lots of acorns about.
Everybody Kept a Pig
As a boy, Bert Stride learned all the tricks for rounding up pigs. Hear his stories.