SIGHTINGS of wild boar across Herefordshire has increased significantly over the past few years, often in more residential areas.

These amazing creatures are beautifully captured here by Nigel Williams, of the Hereford Times Camera Club, but heed caution if spotted.

These animals have been known to show aggression to both people and dogs, they are after all, wild animals.

Between their medieval extinction and the 1980s, when wild boar farming began, only a handful of captive wild boar, imported from the continent, were present in Britain.

Occasional escapes of wild boar from wildlife parks have occurred as early as the 1970s, but since the early 1990s significant populations have re-established themselves after escapes from farms, the number of which has increased as the demand for wild boar meat has grown.

Boar became feral in the area after some escaped or were released from a farm near Ross-on-Wye in 1999.

A sizeable population has now developed in the Forest of Dean with a number of family groups.

There is strong evidence that the Hereford population is now merging with the Dean population, making Herefordshire to have the second largest population in the UK.