Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Statement of Our Intent

The Friends of the Boar welcome the reprieve from culling given to our Wild Boar over the summer by the Forestry Commission at the meeting on 17th January 2012 between Councillors, the Forestry Commission and Friends of the Boar.

This will allow our existing boar to breed and settle. We do however believe that it will take several years to allow the herd to recover from the culling they have been subjected to.
We are extremely grateful to Councillors Hale, Edwards  and Quale and to the Council Environmental Officer for their concern for the boar. We think that their decision to consult with Verderers and possibly the public again and hopefully to upgrade considerably the number of boar allowed in the Forest, is a very positive one.

We do consider that the numbers of boar in the Forest have been considerably depleted by the Forestry Commission cull and that the Forestry Commission are still far over-estimating boar numbers. They have now conceded to the Council that there will be a period this summer when no cull will take place (until September) and that they will hold a public symposium on Wild Boar to discuss the future of the species in the Forest. They intend to invite experts and interested parties, including ourselves we hope.

During the summer we intend to continue convincing the people of the Forest that the boar do good and to build on what those ambassadors for their species, the Beechenhurst Six (as the celebrity black sow and her piglets are now known) have already done. They have attracted a great deal of public interest and shown that Wild Boar are interesting, friendly and non-aggressive to people, if they are not threatened.

Though the twelve-month reprieve is a considerable achievement, we are not complacent.

We hope that the Forestry Commission will allow recovery within the herd. In fact, the Forest will naturally only take a certain number of boar.  We do appreciate that some boar will still continue to move from the Forest onto farmland on the periphery, a situation we hope will be discussed at the Council meetings in the future.

In the Forest however they are wonderful animals and a returned species from centuries ago. They have delighted visitors this year, thus helping the tourist industry and bringing much needed revenue into the Forest,

JM

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