The soil is the foundation of all life.
The boar are one of the few animals to uncompact the sterile earth, much of which exists along our heavily abused woodland rides from logging operations and timber stacking. Moles are another. Worms another. Any call to kill or limit the boar for their "damage" should also be a call to kill or limit moles and worms too.
Our road verges are almost flowerless, a haven for human litter and tyre ruts. Now they are being rotivated, and thanks to the boars the flowers are once again coming back into view throughout Spring and Summer. We should celebrate these visual signs of a healthy ecosystem.
Yet boar digging at roadsides and amenity grassland is a contentious issue here, and is now the primary propaganda used by the anti-boar sector. Roadsides seem to be the only bit of forest some residents see as they travel in their polluting cars around the roads. Gone have the tales of boar running at people, or dogs being savaged for no reason (these stories have been debunked). It is now the road and amenity diggings that are being used to vilify the boars. The way the media ask the questions about perception of boar diggings exposes the agenda to sensationalise and place fear and anger in the minds of the unwary.
But consider this. Is not a road already "damage" to the environment? Even the Forest of Dean itself is not natural but managed, being continuously felled, rotivated and replanted - often with non-native tree species? Picnic sites are "damage" to the natural environment, as are cars, burger vans and of course litter. If the people, upset at boar digging the roadsides, could take a walk along some of the forest tracks here, they would see a much greater offense of those verges....
Is the planting of non-native trees "damage", or the scars, tree litter and ruts left behind after felling also "damage"? (click to enlarge images).
Stories of people being trapped in cars or their houses because a boar is close by is more proof of our loss of instinct and giving our minds over to those who write the words in a newspaper.