Mr and Mrs Waite have been rearing their wonderful Large White and Saddleback pigs at Dilton Farm in the New Forest since 2010. The herd is free-range and spend all of their time outdoors or in open barns.
Towards the end of September, the age-old ‘pannage’ season starts at Dilton Farm when the pigs are let loose on the New Forest to hoover up fallen acorns which are harmful to the ponies and cattle that graze there.
The pigs also eat beech mast, crab apples and anything else they can find. The pannage season ends at the end of December.
Acorn and forest feeding gives a sweet nutty flavour
In modern times between 200 and 600 pigs are turned out onto the New Forest, in the 19th century the number was as high as 6,000.