They finally arrived yesterday, and after getting over the shock of a 2 hour trailer ride, they are as happy as pigs in mud...
We decided not to put rings on their noses. Rings come off easily, don't always stop them rooting up the dirt, are not pleasant for them to have; and at the end of the day, their paddock (60 feet x 100 feet) is their's to do with what they want!
The pigs would eat all the nuts which were toxic to other animals, and root up the forest floor keeping it clean and tidy of brambles and unwanted plants.
"Am I fascinated? Have I lost my senses? Where am I? Had I not a delightful wood here close to Winchester?" So asked the disoriented William The Conqueror, a keen hunter, who had hunted the Saxon kingdom into oblivion some 20 years previously. The words are supposed to have been said by the king, after he had discovered what Wakelin, the Bishop of Winchester, had done to the royal hunting forest of Hampage. Wakelin had been given permisison to cut down trees for up to three days to use in the rebuilding of Winchester Cathedral. Wakelin had taken the king at his word, and organised a gang of men to fell the entire forest over 3 days!
After this surprise, William created the New Forest at the expense of more than 20 small settlements/farms; hence it was 'new'. It was a vast acreage, and takes up an entire 2 pages of records in the doomsday book.
Below are 3 clips of our hounds, Willoughby and Spencer,
demonstrating the hitherto unknown art of pig herding...