Trinity College Library, Cambridge

A 1,000 year old tradition of pannage begins. Dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, the release of domestic pigs into the New Forest to forage the land for acorns, beechnuts and chestnuts will commence today. This process lasts a minimum of 60 days and is known as Pannage. The pannage season will end on Friday18 November 2022 as mentioned by the New Forest National Park Authority.

The pigs serve a great purpose of clearing the ground of acorns, preventing cattle, ponies and horses from being poisoned. As we know, a recent article in Oxford Sandy and Black Pig Foundation Charity Facebook platform called “Abundance of acorns” tells us of a chemical in the pigs saliva that allows them to eat and enjoy the acorns which provides vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Research on the impact of acorns on the digestive system of pigs indicates that a tannic acid-binding protein in the pig’s saliva prevents the acid breaking down into gallic acid and the other toxic metabolites.

You can join the Oxford Sandy and Black Pig Foundation Charity HERE

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