Pigs and pollards – medieval insights for UK wood pasture restoration

Sustainability 5 (2013): 387-399.

English wood pastures have become a target for ecological restoration, including the restoration of pollarded trees and grazing animals, although pigs have not been frequently incorporated into wood pasture restoration schemes. Because wood pastures are cultural landscapes, created through the interaction of natural processes and human practices, a historical perspective on wood pasture management practices has the potential to provide insights for modern restoration projects. Using a wide range of both written and artistic sources form the Middle Ages, this article argues that pigs were fed in wood pastures both during the mast season when acorns were available and at other times as grazing fields. Pollarded pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) likely dominated these sustainable cultural landscapes during the medieval period.

Read online (Open access) on the journal’s website

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