Commoning Year

November

November

November

The final drifts take place and commoners adjust to the longer nights, but commoning activities must go on regardless

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November
December

December

December

The shortest days
December sees the final sale of the year of New Forest ponies at Beaulieu Road Pony Sale. Commoners will have been out across the Forest catching the last few mares and foals in preparation for the sale. Many ponies are not caught on the drifts and commoners will go out alone or in small groups to catch individual ponies.
In some years the acorn crop is heavy and commoners with the right of pannage are given an extension to continue turning their pigs out, this occasionally lasts until New Years Day. Commoners on the Crown lands, with a sow in pig, can also apply for a licence to continue turning her out so long as she returns home each night to sleep.

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December
January © 2018 Sally Fear

January

January

January can be a tough start to the New Year, with commoners often caring for their animals in the dark and wet, having to fit it around their other work.

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January
February © 2018 Sally Fear

February

February

Preparing for Spring, and judging takes place of New Forest Ponies that have spent the whole winter on the Open Forest.

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February
March

March

March

First signs of Spring, but still working in the dark

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March
April CDA

April

April

Time to inspect colts in the stallion "passing", while the foals by the previous summer's stallions start to arrive on the Open Forest

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April
May New Forest Mare & Foal

May

May

The first foals beging to arrive, progeny of the stallions selected and turned out last summer. One of the year's two "welfare tours" take place, with a range of national and local organisations setting out in buses from the Verderers Court to assess the condition of the herds around the Forest.

AT the Beaulieu Road saleyard the Spring sale is held.

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May
June © 2018 commoningfamily.wordpress.com

June

June

Warm days see the ponies heading for shade and damp valley mires

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June
July

July

July

Commoners and their animals scrub up for the New Forest Show, and the CDA gets busy branding house nameplates for sale at the Show. This is a particularly popular attraction, with many local people waiting until the Show to get new rustic nameplates for their homes, stables and other outbuildings.
When the sun shines we'll also be out taking hay from our back-up fields. This helps keep the land that we rent or own in good condition for winter grazing, and provides useful feed for the winter months when many animals are brought home from the open Forest. Keeping local fields in the traditional rotation of hay-making and seasonal grazing also provides important habitats, keeping these spaces for nature.

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July
August

August

August

The first drifts of the Autumn take place in August and the New Forest Pony breed shows takes place

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August
September

September

September

The drift season is in full swing and the first of the Autumn sales is held at Beaulieu Road. Pigs go out to pannage for the Autumn

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September
October © 2018 Sally Fear

October

October

Winter preparations are well underway, with some animals starting to be brought back in to back-up land and the October foal sale is held at Beaulieu Road

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