Wild boar back in Britain
Against all odds. Wild boar live again in the Forest of Dean. Photo: David Slater
Occasional escapes of wild boar from wildlife parks have occurred as early as the 1970s, but since the early 1990s small but significant populations have re-established themselves after escapes and deliberate releases from farms, the number of which has increased as the demand for wild boar meat has grown. Populations of wild boar live in pockets of Kent/East Sussex, Dorset, Forest of Dean (Glos), Devon and Dumfries and Galloway. The Forestry Commission state:
“The Forest of Dean population is the largest of the breeding populations that now exist in England. The original population established in woodlands near Ross-on-Wye after escaping from a wild boar farm in the area during the 1990’s. However, in 2004 a group of around 60-farm reared wild boar were dumped in an illegal release near the village of Staunton on the western edge of the Forest above the Wye Valley. By 2009 it was clear that the two populations had merged and a breeding population was thriving in the Forest” (39).