Here is a request from David Slater:
To let you know there will be a meeting, on what is probably the death knell, of the future of the wild boar in the Forest of Dean.
It is on the 16th April (see below).
It seems many meetings have already been held to decide a strategy, but the public are having this one sliver of a chance to have their say. To my knowledge, very few wildlife fans have been asked their views, nor indeed anyone who has been up close to or studied the dean's wild boar in any detail.
It all seems to hinge on the perception of huge numbers of boar here. They're everywhere, like terrorists keeping us in our houses, tearing up gardens and roadsides and killing our dogs at the slightest whim. One recent traffic collision with a van will be presented as evidence against the boar.. But to my knowledge, no other examples exist. Similarly, beechenhurst picnic site was dug up recently, but the FC has done nothing to repair it. This too will be used in evidence that the boar are a menace.
As I'm sure you all realise, the boar p[opulation has run for cover recently. Numbers of sightings are well down on last year. it is no coincidence that sightings are down when the FC have several rangers on daily patrols with a shoot to kill in mind. Whether this is FC policy, or whether these rangers are acting as "hobby hunters" outside the remit of the FC needs to be known.
Also, we may all have noticed that last years diggings are almost invisible now, often with new flowers that encourage insects and so on up the food chain. Diggings seem to be concentrated along the roads and footpaths where nice grass is tastiest. These rooting will provide seed beds for next years flora etc. It should be good news, after all, the damage to roadsides made by tyres and litter never gets a mention in the press, so why should the boar? Maybe because they have no cash value yet? If they had wool, they would be welcomed, whether or not they are a menace to cars and gardens!!!!
Could you all please stand and be counted by sending to the Council (email@example.com) your views on the matter, with a particular reference to your frequency of sightings this year versus last and before.
PLEASE DON'T ENCOURAGE THE FOREST TO BECOME A HUNTING GROUND FOR HOBBY HUNTERS.
Isn't it bad enough we have to listen to the guts of squirrels being blasted at by these sad folk from the FC and Hunting Colleges. The squirrels are goshawk food and yet the FC go disturb goshawk nest sites now becuase they want a fun day out with their pals at the FC! What next, moles. Have you seen the mess they make along the road (eg between pygmy Pinetum to Beechenhurst)?? Come on, lets put the environment before cash and bloody hobbies. Have your say. Let rip......
(Please pass this on to whoever you know - by no means do i have everyones email who i know look for or photograph the boar)
Dear Mr Slater
Thank you for your coments.
Please may I reassure you that the council only wish to consider issues relating to the escalating number of wild boar in the forest and the potential problem this might create for the district in 3, 5 or 10 years time, if not effectively managed at this present time.
At the request of the Forestry Commission, the wild boar task group was established by the Community Scrutiny and Review Committee in January 2009 to undertake a short review of the situation and to provide the Forestry Commission with a clear mandate on how best to interpret government policy on managing the situation. It is anticipated that a full report will be presented to the scrutiny committee no later than June 2009.
The group have met on several occasions, including invitations to various interested parties, with the intention of obtaining a clear understanding of some of the issues relating to this escalating concern. It is not the council's intention to take action itself but rather, to make a series of recommendations to the Forestry Commission on what is perceived to be the best way forward. The general consenus appears to indicate a need for increased awareness of the potential implications that might arise from an influx of wild boar and how such potentially damaging and hazardous situations might be effectively and humanely managed.
There is a meeting at the council offices at 6.30pm on 16 April 2009 with a presentation from Dr Martin Goulding and Dr George Peterken to which you are very welcome to attend.
I hope this information provides a little reassurance in that it is with the best interests of the local community that such concerns are being addressed.
Joanne Moore Democratic Services Officer 01594 812624 firstname.lastname@example.org