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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 12:52 GMT
Boar close in on rider's home
Ground dug up by the boar
Three of the boar dug up around 100 sq ft (9 sq m)
The south Wales horsewoman who was pursued by a herd of wild boar says the beasts are now very near her house.

Carla Edmonds, from near Monmouth, had been chased by the animals while riding in High Meadow Woods on the Wales-England border.

On Wednesday evening there was another close encounter when an adult and two piglets dug up some of her land.

Her partner tried to photograph the group, but the boar had run into the woods.

It is believed around 20 boar are living in woodlands which straddle Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire.

Nobody is sure where the boar, which can weigh up to 400lb, came from.

Ms Edmonds first encountered them when they chased her and her two dogs while she was riding in forestry near her home.

Wild boar
Ms Edmonds had previously photographed one of the boar
On Wednesday at around 2100 GMT her partner Malcolm Galloway was walking when the dogs "went doolally" because a small group of boar were in one of their fields, digging up the ground.

By the time he returned with a camera, the boar had run back into the woods - but the damage was evident.

"About 100 sq ft (9 sq m) have been rotavated by the boars," Mr Galloway said.

But far from being annoyed, he described it as 'brilliant'.

"Any damage they are doing can be repaired. If they were coming up to the house and ripping into the bins, I'd feel differently - but we are invading their space rather than them invading ours.

"I don't think they're dangerous, I think they are more nervous of people than people are of them...obviously, if they were cornered, then it might be different."

Ms Edmonds added: "if they had very young with them, then they'd be more dangerous...it was amazing - we'd love to see them again."

Carla Edmonds on Elwood
Horsewoman Carla Edmonds said the boar chased at "a huge pace"
However, pig breeders in Wales are particularly concerned by the reports, and have called for the animals to be rounded up.

Meanwhile the impact of wild boar in the countryside is being examined by UK government officials

Westminster agriculture department Defra is finalising two reports into wild boar over the coming months.

Welsh agriculture officials will liaise with colleagues in England.

A Defra spokesperson said: "As wild boar are now reasonably well-established and could, without human intervention become a permanent addition to our wildlife, the government has taken steps to assess the impact that this could potentially have on the countryside and those who live in it.

"Based on the findings of these projects the government will decide what action, if any, is needed.

"We anticipate going out for consultation next year."

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said: "We will be liaising with Defra on this report to assess the impact of wild boar on the countryside and those who live in it".

Clive Davies, from Forestry Commission Wales, said the body would welcome any advice that Defra could offer.

And Dr Martin Goulding, an expert who runs a website on wild boar, said there were three ways to deal with the animals - eradicating them, managing them or leaving them alone.

"Wild boar cut across many serious issues, for example conservation, disease, ecology and public safety," he said.

"Common sense dictates it is a good idea to get public opinion."




SEE ALSO:
Wild boar Houdini killed on road
26 Sep 04 |  Scotland
Wild boar may be making comeback
16 Apr 04 |  Gloucestershire
Wild boar herd escapes
05 Feb 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset


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