This paper was presented at the New Forest Knowledge Conference 2018 entitled: The Role of Commoning in the Maintenance of Landscape and Ecology: A New Forest, National and Global Perspective.
Richard Reeves, Independent Researcher
Commoning in the New Forest provides an insight into a way of life which has been lost to most of the country and is often advanced as an example of constant, unchanging tradition. While this is true in general terms, the detail is rather different. Commoning has changed and evolved over time to take advantage of opportunities and meet threats from both inside and out. Had it remained static and unchanging it would have been swept away with so much of the past. This presentation briefly examines the major phases of through which the commoning system has passed, what have been the drivers for change, and how that system has fared throughout its history, including threats to its very existence.