Sunday, 28 February 2010

Countryfile Wild Boar

Anyone watch Countryfile tonight? You know the show, which I was supposed to be in? Not bitter you understand, just have to put my speach on ice that's all.
What did you think? Did you think Dr. Martin Goulding got it right about the dogs on leads? And what about the fact that the FC baited boar to a high seat within 20 mins?

I think there should be guidelines, but you will never stop people letting their dogs run loose in the forest and this is where we will see an incident between boar and human one day. Hopefully not, but its in some peoples nature to put themselves at risk for their pet. Some people even loose their life in the process, especially in the winter when dogs fall through ice.

What about the high seats? For boar to turn up within 20min, the boar will be frequenting this spot every night, or at least every other night.
One point, which was made by the FC ranger, which I have to agree with is that we (humans) "have" taken away the wild boar's natural predators, so to sustain a healthy sounder, we (humans) must take that job.
As long as the wild boar are managed correctly, e.g. No sows shot while feeding young and they are monitored and not over culled, this will work fine "and" prove lucrative to the FC.

Your thoughts...


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Wild Boar Control

Below is an article featured in a local newspaper this week. Mr. Goulding carried out the filming for Countryfile, which I was originally lined up for.

As I have said many times before, wild boar young are not weaned until they are 3 months old. So if the findings are correct, Martin has confirmed my fears.
Young boar are being orphaned and left to endure a slow, painful death.
This is not scaremongering as I have been accused of in the past, it is a fact and a very harsh one.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Down by the River

This is a bit of video I put together from a couple of hours down by the River Severn at Awre a few days ago. There are under, over and backwards currents out there, with shelves and quicksand. A very dangerous place, especially for kids. Look past this and the mud, then you will find it truly relaxing!

Chill out and enjoy.....


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Bird and a River

Well the clouds broke for a bit today, long enough for me to get out with the camera and feed the birds at New Fancy.
Just the usual stuff around. chaffinch, robin, nuthatch, greenfinch, cole tit and so on, but the chaffinch's were hovering well, so I decided to try and catch some in flight shots. The light levels were still quite low, so don't expect any great shots!

Then I decided to take a walk down by the River Severn at Awre. Couldn't stay long, but this is definitely a place I will be going back to.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Wild Boar Shot!

Early morning on Saturday the 13th Feb I saw a dead wild boar sow at the side of the road between the Dilke Hospital and Speech House. I was not driving so could not stop to inspect it, to try and determine how she had met her end.
However, my friend did stop and inspected the carcass. She had been shot once through the mid section. It was a single puncture wound, typical of a bullet.
On Friday 12th Feb morning, there were around 4 vehicles parked inside a barrier just below the Dilke hospital and numerous shots were being fired. I am no expert on guns, but they sounded like shotguns.
As the vehicles were not suspicious, this incident was not reported.

I now have concerns that the dead boar is connected to this shooting. If I am correct, this wild boar sow, which was quite large, had been walking around the forest injured for quite some time and we all know defensive, unpredictable and dangerous a wounded animal can be.
If this boar was injured in this shooting. To get from where she was shot, to the area where she died, she would have passed through numerous paths, which are used regularly by dog walkers, joggers and photographers!

I just think its a bit of a coincidence....


It has been brought to my attention that the shooting was from the ongoing grey squirrel cull in the Dean, where shotguns are used.
This means that the wild boar killed with a single bullet wound was 99.9% killed by poachers.

Friday, 12 February 2010

The Good and the Bad

Two bits of news, good and bad.....

Firstly... As some of you will know I was supposed to be filming for Countryfile this coming Tuesday. The focus was to be concentrated on the wild boar. They are still filming, but unfortunately they will not be using me!

I received a nice email from the producer explaining that they will now be interviewing a member of the Forestry Commission. She did however, make it clear that the Forestry Commission had not bullied them into this decision?!?!?!?!?!?!? Oops got carried away there with the question marks and exclamation marks!

On a more positive note, they will also be interviewing Dr. Martin Goulding. If you have not heard of him, Mr. Goulding specialises in wild boar and his contribution will be factual based.

Secondly... I did manage to get a slot on the radio this morning, talking about the Forest of Dean, my photography and what it takes to get a decent photograph. I have added some pics to spice it up a bit.


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Forest of Dean Visitors Guide 2010 Available now (Free)

Link below for a free to download or free posted FoD Visitors Guide 2010.

Yours truly covered the majority of the nature and wildlife images.

Female Adder
Wild Boar
Fallow Doe (main pic)
Rally car

Link here:



Friday, 5 February 2010

Lord of the Flies!

I have not posted any pics for a while, so there will be a few at the end of this post.
First of all, BBC Radio Gloucestershire will be broadcasting a series next week about "going undercover" and they kindly asked me to contribute.
Going undercover can be represented in lots of ways, from detective work, to tracking and finding wildlife. That's my bit!
I have already recorded my segment and will let you know when it is on. I will also post a direct link.
Look out for it, it will be very interesting.
Here are some pics...
Now we all know that wildlife is not always cute and cuddly. The following pics show just that.
Even though they are hairy and ugly, they are still fascinating!

If you have made it past the flies, here is a cute Dunnock for you!


Chepstow Wild Boar Talk

Tonight at very short notice I was asked to attend and contribute towards a planned talk by the Forestry Commission at Chepstow Leisure Centre.
The talk was to be dedicated to the wild boar in the Forest of Dean, but sadly the Forestry Commission had to pull out.

There were between 80 and 100 people in attendance and I am pleased to say it went very well. I tried to be as informative as possible and every question was answered to the best of my knowledge. The round of applause at the end was just tremendous.
We were in full support of the Forestry Commissions reasons for pulling out and we also made it quite clear that we will be fully supportive of their management plan for the wild boar, when it is put into place.
If anyone reading this attended the talk, thank you for coming and supporting your wildlife. I hope you enjoyed the photos and video.

Also a big thank you to Gwent Wildlife Trust.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

BBC Radio Glos Feature - Wild Boar

Wild Boar.

Below is a link to my radio interview with BBC Radio Gloucestershire, which went out earlier today.

Firstly, there are a few points I would like to make as there is always a lot of editing involved if you are not live and not everything comes over as said, or as it is meant to be perceived...
  1. In my interview, I mentioned that the Forestry Commission has a hard job and that I respect them as they do a fantastic job managing our forest and our deer. I also said that I would support the same policy for wild boar management. This was not aired!
  2. The road verges do not repair themselves overnight, nor do they repair themselves when the ground is frozen. The majority of road verges have been clean for quite some time, this means that there has been a decrease in boar activity.
  3. Click this link to a "This is Gloucestershire" story from the 3rd January 2010, where a Forestry Ranger confirmed a wild boar cull. Something, which is now being denied. This is why we mentioned the "legal" Forestry cull.
  4. My "ONLY" reason for helping to form "Friends of the Wild Boar" is to help this species get the protection in needs and deserves in the UK. I am not looking for recognition and I am certainly not looking for financial gain. The Llama Trekking is Mr Fraser's business and has nothing to do with me or "Friends of the Wild Boar" and it should not have been mentioned.

I have no interest in any business venture whatsoever where the wild boar, or captive animals are concerned and I will never highlight a wild boar location to the public, unless I am 100% sure that it has moved on from the area. This animal needs to be left alone!

I think about our wildlife 100%, not myself and not anyone else. This creature needs a voice and I am going to give it one.

Mr Guest said that our comments were just scaremongering. Well Mr Guest I can assure you that the only scaremongering going on is all the lies and false gossip, which is and has been doing the rounds since the boar arrived in the Dean. Perhaps a statement from you in the local press giving the public the "FACTS" would help. Or would you like me to do it?

The vast majority of people in the UK watch wildlife documentaries on the TV and comment on how people in foreign countries should work harder to learn to live with their wildlife, which are viewed as dangerous by most. Then along comes a wild boar in the UK and they are too scared to walk out of their front door! Practice what you preach!

I am not doing this to make friends or enemies, I am doing this to help a controversial creature survive.

1st part (skip to - 1h 15min 27sec) 2nd part (skip to - 2h 36min 04sec)


Tuesday, 2 February 2010

BBC Glos Radio Feature

If anyone is interested, I will be talking on BBC Radio Gloucestershire on Wednesday 3rd Feb from 8am.
It was recorded a few days ago and is dedicated to the wild boar in the Forest of Dean. The show will be available throughout the day by clicking the listen again link.

Click Here: BBC Radio Glos



Gloucestershire Big Cat Footage

Make your own minds up, but personally I think that there is no doubt as to the size of this animal.
Also, if domestic cats had muscles like these, they would be chasing the dogs around. CCTV footage.

Click Here: Big Cat Footage