Forest of Dean rangers battle to meet boar cull target

image captionWild boar were reintroduced to the Forest of Dean after a 700-year absence

The Forestry Commission has admitted it is struggling to meet its target for culling wild boar in the Forest of Dean, due to a lack of manpower.

Efforts are being made to reduce the population from about 200 to 90, to reduce the risk of damage to woodlands.

The Commission said only 25 had been culled so far this year and by next year, the population could rise to 300.

He said only three rangers were available to do the task alongside their other duties.

Boars have roamed wild in the Forest of Dean since 2004, when they were reintroduced following an absence of 700 years.

The cull was introduced after complaints of damage to gardens, danger to dog walkers and riders and boar-related road accidents.

In January 2008, an aggressive boar had to be shot at Ruardean Primary School.

Earlier this year, it was agreed that specially-trained marksmen would carry out a cull, although feeding sows would be spared.

Kevin Stannard, the Commission's deputy surveyor for the area, said: "There's only a certain number of hours a day [the rangers] can go out to cull the boar and there's only a certain number of areas they can do that.

"It's just a numbers game."

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