A Year on a Commoning New Forest Farm
As many of you will know, we adore working directly with Storms Farm near Cadnam (New Forest). We source our beef, pork and lamb from them.
The farm is run by Commoners Andrew & Sarah Parry-Norton. The ‘Common Rights’ of The New Forest are attached to properties and particular land and the ‘Commoners’ are those who occupy the land who have the privileges to turn their animals out onto the Forest.
Without farming the land, The New Forest would be a very different place. Commoners are integral to the upkeep of the Forest.
We thought it would be quite fun and insightful to bring to life a small summary of a year for the Parry-Norton's. (Everything is subject to weather conditions, of course)
The lucky chickens roam free around the farm all year round and lay between 200-250 eggs per day.
- Lambing Season
- The Bulls get to meet their ladies
- Freeze Branding the cattle
- Lambing continues
- Assuming there are shoots of grass out there they will turn the animals out onto the Forest: Lambs, Ewes and Cows.
- We are hoping Sarah’s New Forest Pony will safely deliver her foal.
- Silage begins.
- Sheep Shearing.
- The cattle are moved onto the RSBP reserve.
- Silage & Hay Making.
- Time to haul the straw in.
- The cows go to new pastures near to Lymington to fatten up on some nutritious grass.
- The rams head out to the fields where the Sheep are now moved to.
- The Lambs say farewell.
- The cows come off the Forest and back from the other pastures into their own fields.
- The famous Pannage begins (Pigs are turned out onto the Forest to eat the acorns which are otherwise poisonous for the cows & ponies.)
- The animals are housed into their barns for the winter.
- Mid December is preparing the Pannage Pork in time for Christmas.
- Calving starts from now through into January.
So hopefully you have enjoyed a snippet here into the very busy life of two young Commoners. Pictured below: Andrew & Sarah Parry Norton.