Item, that between nones and vespers on the feast of James the Less the said brother John was observed upon the Brockenhurst road, near the spot which is known as Hatchett's Pond in converse with a person of the other sex, being a maiden of the name of Mary Sowley, the daughter of the King's verderer
The Forest of Dean could be a model for Tolkein's Middle Earth: an ancient former royal hunting forest whose law-enforcers are called Verderers
and Deputy Gavellers; a land cloaked in oak, beech and chestnut, with free-range sheep and roaming wild boar.
Partner organisations at the visit included the Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council, Dorset County Council, New Forest National Park Authority, Environment Agency, Verderers of the New Forest, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.
The New Forest is part of a 10-year Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement between the Verderers of the New Forest and Natural England which will help to safeguard traditional grazing methods, support commoning and restore important wildlife habitat.
During James trip he met the Verderers in the Verderers Court in Queens House, Lyndhurst.
Each forest had various forest officers to maintain the venison and vert: a steward; verderers, who protected both deer and trees; foresters; regarders, who regulated the bounds; agistors, who managed the number of animals pastured in the forest; and woodwards.
Forest verderers then viewed the woods and decided on the suitability of making an enclosure around the wood and felling.
The pig was taken away from open areas by its owner after the ancient Verderers
of the forest, who govern grazing, ordered its removal.
To protect the vert and venison, there was an administrative and law enforcement system staffed with unique officers--justices, wardens, verderers
, gamekeepers, woodwards, agisters, and regarders--who acted under a distinct body of law in a series of prerogative courts--the courts of Swanimote, Attachment, Regard, the General and Special Inquisitions, and the Eyre.
For a longer route cross directly over to Speech House - a fine building which was built in the reign of Charles II in 1676 as a home for the Verderers
who administer the forest.
The Forest's Verderers
have been appointed to administer the King's hunting forest since the time of William the Conqueror.
In the evening, couples can enjoy a three course meal in the award-winning Verderers
Restaurant before retiring to one of the 14 beautifully appointed bedrooms.