Monday, 12 September 2016


An ITV 1 documentary will be aired tomorrow (Tuesday 13th September) at 8pm.

It's title is Nightmare Neighbours.  It is part of a series and it will attempt to portray the wild boar as just that - a nightmare neighbour for residents here in the Forest of Dean.

Anyone who read the last post and maybe thought we were exagerating about the mainstream media, may like to read The Daily Mail just 2 days ago (9th September 2016).  The article is clearly  presstituting itself to the ITV Corporation by advertising the ITV programme tomorrow in such a sensationalist and downright inaccurate way.

This, apparently, is what the mainstream thinks we want to see and hear and what sells viewing figures!  Treating the British public like brainless idiots will surely backfire?

Read the fully biased and derogatory article towards people of the Forest of Dean  here

 Friends of the Boar were interviewed for the programme, and we can only hope that they haven't distorted our voice.

We will be looking carefully to see if they showed how people can help to repair the turves of grass dug by boar.  We hope they will show the wildflowers created by diggings.  We certainly hope our message about the current over-cull is causing more problems than it solves will also be given some airtime.  And we would also expect our strategy for controlling numbers more effectively, and with a social and ecological conscience, will also be aired.

Let us see...

Monday, 5 September 2016


The last week of August witnessed the seasonal appearance of the boar after the summer recess.  Hooray!

Boar fans may wish to visit the Forest of Dean now with a hope a seeing one of our most amazing mammals.

Every year, almost to the day, boar reappear from the heart of the forest. After a safe period of piglet rearing, the shortage of food starts to bite and the roadside verges start to call.

This is also a time when the inexperienced, first-time mums, give birth to their first litter of 4-6 piglets.  The roadside verges represent a life-saving resource to these families, stocked full of insect grubs not to mention human waste after a summer full of litter throwing tourists.
Grubs as well as flowers grow well in the warmth of these verges, comparatively unshaded from the sun unlike the deeper parts of the forest where a dense tree canopy has all but killed of the grass by blocking out the light.

This period of fresh diggings around the forest always sparks a media frenzy for silly stories, and this year is no different.

The media are gifted press releases from the Forestry Commission's new public relations department of spin and disinformation.  But not before meetings are convened in secret with various stakeholders in the Forest.  It has become clear that the Forest of Dean is becoming corporatist by the backdoor, rather than by direct sell-off by the quango's (the FC) master in government (DEFRA).

On the 24th August, one such meeting took place between the Forestry Commission, commercial pig-breeders, boar hunters (The Deer Initiative) and the NFU (National farmers Union).  Also present was the UKplc's local representative Mark Harper MP.

A day later, as predicted by Friends of the Boar, the results of the meeting would hit the centralised mainstream news media, leading to the usual inaccurate and utterly sensationalised descriptions of what is actually happening in the Forest of Dean.

The BBC had pig farmers on it's radio broadcasts, whining about breeding purity of rare breeds coming under attack.  One woman mentioned being unable to allow her pigs roam wild on a grass bank because of threats from wild boar mating with her prized meat on trotters.

Thankfully on this show, Scott Passmore, formerly of Friends of the Boar but these days running his own venture "A Wild Life With Animals", challenged this pig-breeder to get a more secure fence around her pigs, just like her predecessors would have had when the Forest of Dean allowed pigs to roam free for months during pannage.  Pig breeders didn't seem concerned with interbreeding of pigs of all shapes and races back then!

The only discussion that is noted in the main press release (see link) is how to kill more and more boar in the light of new and scientifically ridiculous guesswork on boar numbers.  Numbers that are now put at over 1,500 boar, or in excess of 21 wild boar for every square kilometre of forest habitat!!

Utterly impossible!

This is dumbed down for the volunteer journalism recruits, or novice but enthusiastic corporate-sponsored "Presstitutes".  A syndicated and automated news story feed with a tag-line that the boar population has increased by 50% on last year lands on their desk and they feel they need to generate click-throughs in order to be noticed by their editor.

The National Pig Association (NPA) of course believes everything that it's told by the inventors of the boar census at Bank House in Coleford, Gloucestershire.  Similarly, the UKplc's rep also unquestionably defers to that authority, and what is created is a "consensus" without facts.  Everyone is now awakening to the consensus trick of the mainstream media, but it doesn't stop themselves making each other look foolish and stupid.

Have a read of the ludicrous take from The Sun newspaper (see link), who also attempts to make us fearful of "educated" hogs, "smashing" through fences, leaving councillors "baffled".

None of this is actually happening!

Here is the NPA's own knee jerk report (see link) to the inaccurate news on boar numbers. The NPA now "demands" numbers be drastically reduced before the profits of UKplc take a turn for the worse.

The pig industry is of course controlled by DEFRA (the same daddy to the FC) through licenses and regulations, so it comes as no surprise the NPA has no voice of its own as clearly demonstrated in their report. The NPA quotes "new modelling" of numbers without question!  The conclusion of this is the targeting of over 700 wild boar for this next hunting season (of course a number that doesn't exist naturally without the intervention of bad management).

Is it a coincidence that this news also comes the same week that guns are being fired at our badgers too?

This place is THE FOREST of DEATH.   Bad science, consensus and a whore of a corporate mainstream press are forcing this upon us and our wildlife.  It has no basis in fact and hides the true reasons behind diseases in animals - it is bad domestic husbandry.

The NPA claim they're worried about boar giving pigs diseases, when it is exactly the opposite that is true - domestic pigs are the historical and present-day source of all swine disease.  We worry that diseased pigs on farms meet with the boar.  We urge the farmers to fence in their diseased animals!

The pig industry admits that it is domestic pigs that pose the greatest biosecurity threat to other pigs and give advice on this here.

The same argument is true for Tb in cattle.  Poor cattle husbandry has been shown to be the vector for Tb in badgers.  But DEFRA and the "CON-sensus" CON-struct tries to avert gaze away from the truths about British farming and its disastrous effects on wildlife.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Boar on Terror

 The Forest of Dean is most famous for its ancient woodlands. It has the largest amount of oak trees in the United Kingdom. Previously the forest was only reserved for royal hunting, and that is how it gained its name as the Royal Forest of Dean. 

The Forest of Dean used to have an incredible mining industry, one of the largest in Britain. It still has ancient rights that preserve miners to dwell anywhere in the forest, as long as they are over 21 and have spent a year and a day down a mine. 

With the abundance of natural beauty that the Forest of Dean beholds it has many tourist attractions to entice new visitors to the area. Symonds Yat is a small, scenic village located at the bottom of the valley, and its rich with wildlife. A canoe can be hired to meander along the river Wye, with possibilities of spotting a rare peregrine falcon. The award winning sculpture trail is the largest in South Wales and England, a walking magazine rated it, ‘one of the best walks in the area’. Puzzle Wood is located near Coleford and offers the public a tranquil walk through its woodland, which has played host to many film and TV producers. Scenes have been shot there from Harry Potter, The deathly hallows. StarWars, The Force Awakens and BBC’s Merlin to name a few.

Nature booms and is proliferant in the Forest of Dean. Bluebells and daffodils dapple the woodlands floor with purple and yellow. It’s majestical, mythical, ancient woodland has historical intrigue and walking through it can be likened to stepping into a more spiritual and basic time period. But, behind this fa├žade of tourism attractions, its natural exterior and exquisite views The Forest of Dean has a more sinister and ever growing internal problem. Lurking in the forest there are beasts, so if you go down to the woods today, be sure to take an AK47 and plenty of bullets. 

‘War on Boar’, cries the local media. Its plastered on every news board, outside supermarkets and convenience shops in The Forest of Dean. The boar have tormented the public, and have had them fearing for their safety, so lets consider why? 

After investigating some of the history surrounding this problem, I unearthed some terrifying newspaper stories. ‘Hozilla’, one particular boar was named by local newspapers. Hogzilla is a giant, genetic freak that will crush you with one hoof. He’s the size of a small bear and will tear you apart with one tusk. Hogzilla is a North American boar that does not dwell in our country, but somehow found itself being googled, copied, pasted and put on the front cover of local newspapers. Fear and pandemonium spread through the ‘foresters’, they are unsure of when this ‘war’ will be over. 

The ‘war’ is a battle. It’s a battle between hog and man. Newspapers reveal that these boars have women and children trapped inside their cars out of sheer unprovoked terror. Picture the scene; a boar lingers outside their car holding them captive. He circles their car filing his tusks ready for an attack. His victims sit motionless as the boar’s red and evil eyes reflect the violent mood he is in. 

Picture the scene - women and children trapped in their cars out of sheer unprovoked terror.

This is a familiar story between locals; they cannot fathom why these boars have such hatred and resort to merciless tactics. This incident leads us to another terrible act committed by a boar, on a poor and unsuspecting couple and their dog. They were enjoying a walk through the forest, sunlight beamed down on them through the trees and out of nowhere a boar ‘charged at 30mph’, proceeded to ‘jump a 6ft high fence’ and then finally ‘savaged’ their beloved pet. Apparently the boar would not listen to reason and had to be ‘beaten with a branch’ to fend it off. The wild boar eventually admitted defeat and the couple escaped. The wild boars are not only monstrous in size but can now perform extraordinary feats of agility, beyond their capabilities. 

It has also been reported that wild boar have been known to sneak out of the undergrowth, and venture into open spaces. According to newspapers they ‘totally ruin picnics’. Innocent sandwich eaters are resorted to abandoning their lunch and are forced to ‘scramble up trees’. Boars mockingly taunt them while scoffing the remainders of carefully cut salmon and cream cheese sandwiches. Eventually the boar will wander off in search of other happy, unsuspecting picnic goers. 
Many locals have also complained of being ‘prisoners in their own homes’, these headlines suggest that these people fear leaving their houses in case a boar might appear, and then prevent them from re-entering. The boar could whip past them, charge through the door, lock it and then adapt an animal farm type strategy and start living in their homes. They could start wearing their clothes, smoke pipes in the living room and eat all of their carefully labelled preserves. 

‘Unprovoked and frenzied attacks’ another local newspaper claims, as they try to describe the boars behaviour. A frenzied attack conjures up images of a wildly excited beast, hyperactively, fraught and feverish lunging towards an innocent person, crazed in a fast and furious attack. They are mad and leap from one direction to another before choosing to strike. 

So, a mass cull is necessary, according to the local Council. It will provide a solution for these frenzied attacks. A cull will also provide a resolution for landowners and council officials that claim that the boar are a ‘nuisance’ and create ‘damage’. 

In another news story it was reported that one boar in particular had decided to ‘raid’ a local town in The Forest of Dean. The boar had ‘ran amok in the town centre’. In actual fact the boar had churned up a small piece of grass outside a chip shop, but ‘ran amok’ sounds more dramatic. He danced in the street, he sprayed his name in graffiti all over the walls, raided veg shops for sustenance and partied hard before returning to his dark and cold domain. 

Their ‘diggings’ are also well documented. ‘Diggings’, are a name given to the boar’s natural occupation by the media. They don’t use little spades attached to their backs, but instead snuffle up the ground with their snouts. The increase of roadside carnage has proved the council’s suspicions that the boar ‘numbers are out of control’. The diggings are obviously not due to the Forestry Commissions hunters driving them out of the forest, which is their natural habitat and into other areas. It is due to them ‘breeding like rats’. 

The newspapers then tell foresters that ‘soon there will be nothing left’. ‘Football pitches, cricket pitches, parks and picnic sites will all be destroyed’, locals will have to resort to more primitive or singular hobbies inside. The boars have become relentless in their quest for total boar domination. Some locals have now made it their hobby to document diggings and report them hastily to the local council, I’m sure that this new hobby can be a fun activity for all who participate, just be careful if the diggings are fresh. 

Many boar conspiracy theorists believe that the boar want to eradicate all other animals from the forest, destroying habitats in their quake. The council back up these theories with information concerning the possible extinction of butterflies cause by boar. They also confirm suspicions that the boars are eating all the frogs, snakes and lizards in the area. Could it be that all reptilian life will soon be extinct in The Forest of Dean? 

One man has taken the initiative against this boar on terror. Interviewed by the Daily Mail and armed with his '.308 Blazer Hunting Rifle’, he takes to the forest prepared. He admits that when approached by a boar he ‘thrusts himself in a jutting motion’ and proceeds to ‘slice open its upper thigh’. 

Locals are advised to be extremely cautious of boar in the forest, but in reflection of this mans interview I would be inclined to be more mindful of the man jutting around the forest with a high powered gun.
The boar are primarily more active at night, they are nocturnal creatures because their eyesight is poor. They have excellent hearing and are shy to approach. They can be instinctively protective of their young and have been known to be protective of their piglets when threatened, but usually retreat to safety. 

The media, Council and Forestry Commission have successfully made most of the community in The Forest of Dean scared and vengeful. The public’s vengeance makes it easier for the Forestry Commission to carry out their ambitions. 

The Commission want to cull a certain amount of boar each year so they and sell the meat and make huge amounts of profit. Visit to see photographs taken by other members of the public that have a different view of boar. They capture the essence of the boar in wonderful pictures surrounded by nature, their own habitat. 

by Harriet Stenner, University of South Wales