Posts Tagged ‘Wild Boar


“Pigs in Space”

I have seen Wild Boar in Europe and also Asia but have never encountered them here in the UK.

Tania and I planned and booked a weekend away to the Forest of Dean to see and photograph boar long before the King decided on the date of his investiture. This worked in our favour. The area was relatively quiet. The rain only accentuated the lack of people.

Although the signs of Wild Boar digging are literally everywhere in the forest, getting a glimpse of them doesn’t reflect this. Getting a decent photograph is hard.

They don’t find favour with many of the locals. These are persecuted animals and are therefore quite shy. They can definitely be almost ethereal. Wild Boar were hunted to extinction in the UK during the 13th century. Their meat was and still is prized and were therefore farmed. Escapes led to several areas within England, Wales and Scotland having reintroduced populations. The densest is said to be in the Forest of Dean. What is not widely realised is they do a damn good job of regenerating the forest. Rooting for tubers and roots they form ideal seedbeds which help in tree and plant regeneration. They form wallows beloved of dragonflies and other insects. Boars provide vital disturbance to the ground which is crucial in maximising species richness and diversity. Although if they were turning over my lawn, that fact might pale into insignificance. So I guess negative attitude to them is perhaps understandable. They have no natural predator here (roll on a wolf reintroduction programme?) numbers can and have in the past risen unchecked; so a culling regime is required.

Culling has made boar wary. Naturally. Who wouldn’t skuttle into the undergrowth at the first glimpse of a raised gun. We had to work hard to find the newest routing and get ahead of foraging herds. The piglets were much less wary than the adults, but were still a challenge.


Wild Boar

I have just been reading a facebook page which had a slice of video on it that stated the film was taken in Norfolk and it featured a wild boar.

I have no doubt the person that posted the video did so in good faith. In fact it featured an Iron Age Pig rather than a Wild Boar. Iron Age Pigs are hybrids between Wild Boar any any breed of domesticated pig. They are used by land owners that are rewilding their land. Several farms in Norfolk are now beginning to put land aside for rewilding. They use pigs, usually Tamworths, but a few use Iron Age, alongside Exmoor ponies and Cattle. The turnover of the land by the pigs and the browsing and grazing by the cattle and horses, alongside wild deer, keeps the land from ‘wooding-up’. The bushy, scrubby landscape that ensues is ideal for such species such as Nightingale, Turtle Dove and Warblers like Whitethroat and Blackcap.

There are no Wild Boar at large in Norfolk as far as I’m aware. Although I did investigate a couple of reports about 10 years ago that didn’t come to anything. However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … anythings possible.

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Jun 2023


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