We drove out to the Forest of Dean at dawn and found a young pig dead on the road. Hit but not run over. Perfect for roadkill cuisine.
Chucked it in the back of the car, set off quick, and almost immediately passed a black pickup with spotlights. They had to wait for us at a junction
and gave us suspicious stares. They may have been on their way to pick up the same pig. The Forest of Dean pig population is a money spinner for
Took the pig home, skinned and butchered it in a private part of my garden. Not much of the meat was spoiled by the injuries, I got a fair bit, most
frozen now, some roasted over a fire in the woods last night. Good wild meat, my first real taste of rewilding.
I haven't had time to prepare the skin. I just salted it. But if I don't get it done today I'll have to throw it out.
The rewilding lobby are prone to see traditional sheep farming as the enemy.
. . . get rid of most of the sheep from our “sheepwrecked”
uplands, as Monbiot advocates . . .
Sheep provide material for the manufacture of life enabling clothing, without needing to kill and skin animals and prepare the hides.
I'm now experienced at trying to find time to prepare one measly little rewilded pig hide. It's easier to spin a couple of ounces of wool, and you
don't have to deal with freshly dismantled animal innards.
It's all about bringing nature back to life and restoring living systems
Bringing nature back to life. Like Frankensteins monster? This is deluded thinking. Nature will and does come 'back to life' every time there's a
space to be filled. We don't need underhand reintroductions without public consent, as has happened with the tame 'wild boar' in the Forest of
There isn't a great deal of danger from the pigs in the forest. Road collisions are an obvious risk. I've seen a very large, lone adult male and he
was big enough to potentially write off a bus. Dog attacks can be confined to "the boar rolled him along with it's nose like a football, but it
didn't bite him". A dog that corners a pig may be badly slashed, and a grumpy pig may attack random dogs. Scared horses may throw their riders.
Other than that, walking in the Forest with its overpopulation of deliberately introduced 'wild boar' isn't likely to bring you into conflict with
the pigs. They just grumble and amble off.
The pigs are well established and spreading. Odd sightings are reported in many parts of the country. Over the next decades pigs will become a part of
life for many of us. They aren't particularly dangerous, except in traffic collisions.
It's a lot to get used to, it's clearly sanctioned a some level, and we can expect more rewilding shenanigans.