Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Boar on the BBC

Just when you thought it might be safe to be in the Forest the BBC set about more scare mongering. The BBC featured the Forest of Dean boar population on the news today, early morning news at least. A fair and balanced report you might say, you might unless you watched it. With the exception of the one piece from the Forestry's representative the piece was clearly aimed at portraying the boar as fearsome.
How do I know? Well other than the fact that i watched it, I happen to know that my friend Dave Slater was interviewed yesterday about the boar. I know that Dave gave a piece of about 5 minutes but none of the positive things he said about the boar were included, the only comment that was used was one regarding only time telling what the final outcome may be.

Why were the BBC involved in this matter? I can only presume that it is a result of the continuing bad press that papers like the Citizen and Forest review have been printing.

Well let me try here to put a view from the pro-boar side.

The following pictures were taken today. You will see a number of shots but the two I want to draw to your attention are the last two.

There were a group of people who saw this boar, a male, at a location in the Forest. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. The boar stayed with us for at least an hour. Initially he was foraging amongst the brambles but then began to take seed that I put down for him. Then Bread rolls that someone else put down.

There were a number of children present and during the hour a number of adults walked past, sensibly with their dogs on leads. The boar was neither aggressive nor frightened. I stroked it. In the picture above it is about to take food out of my hand.

I am not in anyway saying that this behaviour is typical of all the boar in the forest. I am saying though that the press and other media should stay balanced in their reporting. I think that the Forest Review would be better off Printing a guide that educated the people of the Forest as to what they should and should not do.

My fear is that at some point in time a group of ill-educated people of any age will start to goad a boar that is as harmless as this one until it reacts and injury is caused to it or it's tormentors.

Despite the best efforts of the boar to stay elusive it is inevitable that they, like Foxes, Deer, and Badgers will eventually learn that there is a ready food source to be found in rubbish either left out for collection or dumped within the Forest.

I believe that the balance has already gone too far and that ignorance will result in the species again becoming extinct in the Forest.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Oh Happy Days!

Oh happy days indeed, what a lovely sunny day. A day not to be missed, so a trip to the Elan Valley with Andy Carey presented itself.
Target species was of course Red Kite. Other species would be a bonus, hopefully a Merlin or Wheatear.

Literally within seconds of debussing at the location chosen we were rewarded with a kite. Then not one but two.

We spent a few hours being treated to repeated photo opportunities.
Others joined the party.
Robin, of course.
A Chaffinch.

Carrion Crow
No sighting of Merlin or Wheatear, but a thoroughly enjoyable day.