Posted: 30/10/2013 at 14:34
Matty2, in the New Forest the acorns are fed to the pigs. In fact some locals are entitled though historic rights to graze their pigs at this time of year to keep the NF ponies from eating too many acorns, which are poisonous to them. I have heard that up to about 100 ponies die each year from this ( out of about 3,000) This right is called "pannage" and this is the name given to the pork when it is eventually sold, and it is supposed to taste paticularly good, altho' I haven't tried it yet.
In the old days hundreds indeed thousands of pigs were put out onto the Forest at this time of year and would have a swineherd with them. Now it's relatively few... so the ponies have to take their chances.
So, do you know any helpful pig farmers where you are?