Woods under pressure from wild boar

05 option b1Results from a survey undertaken by the Forestry Commission (FC) reveal that a cull may be required to control the wild boar population in the Forest of Dean.

Woodland damage is increasing in the area, and the FC believes there are around 600 Sus scrofa living in the woods.

According to the government department, the population of wild boar living in the Forest of Dean is doubling every year.

This will put the woodland under even greater pressure, and could lead to a population collapse.

The boar are already damaging the ground and low level vegetation in the search for food, with the cold weather of recent months and a lack of nuts resulting in them causing more damage than expected.

The FC is placing a four-foot barrier around Beechenhurst Lodge picnic area, as it has been disturbed to such an extent.

At 2,000 metres long, the fence will be barbed to prevent the boar digging underneath it.

Current wild boar population control is done by local farmers with the appropriate FAC, as the boar also damage crops in the area.

The FC decides on cull targets every August and, though there is no closed season for boar, FC staff carry out cull quotas between September and January.

The off-peak holiday season makes culling more opportune.

In 2012, the cull target was set at 100 boar. Of these, 78 were shot and 22 were killed in road accidents.

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