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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Sustainable Prospects – Tell a Story

TASK – “Imagine you are being commissioned by a newspaper to tell a story in five to seven images. It can be about anything – ideally something local – but it must have a beginning, middle, and end. It can be about a person, a place or a thing. Keep your focus narrow. What matters in this exercise is to make sure each photograph gets to the essence of what the narrative wants to express. Share the five to seven images of your story.”(, 2017)

I decided to highlight the story of the wild boar in the Forest of Dean where I live. I decided to drive around to see if I could see evidence of the damage boar cause to land in villages in the forest. I was also hoping to see evidence of boar and maybe view them. I was extremely surprised to see a group of 7 juveniles foraging at midday next to a busy road and to see a full grown adult just metres from another busy road. The boar were not interested in me as I presented no danger to them. I have watched and photographed them a few times and understand how to approach them without alarming them.

Wild boar are increasingly venturing into urban areas because cross-breeding with domestic animals has made them bigger, bolder and more numerous according to experts. Until recently, the boar foraged across the Forest of Dean without disturbance, rarely being seen or venturing out from the forest. However, due to tree felling by the Forestry Commission, the boar have been pushed further to the edge and closer to residential areas. Food is limited in the forest and they wander out in search of it.

The tell-tale signs of ttheir presence include the turned earth where they forage for insects and roots. They have no natural predators – except man – and the recent mild winters have helped populations soar. As the population grows, the boar venture further and further into villages and towns. The Forestry Commission carry out a cull each, year, but that does not stop the numbers from growing.

These images show wild boar on the roadside and just metres from busy roads and footpaths. They also show the damage caused when the boar are looking for food.

Recently, the boar have had a bad press due to the damage they cause and often exaggerated claims that they have chased and attacked people. The numbers need controlling for sure, but there is something magical about seeing wild boar in the Forest of Dean. I am sure that the debate for and against the boar will continue for a long time yet in the Forest of Dean.

REFERENCE (2017). Log in to canvas. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

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