WILD boar piglets have been spotted in the Forest of Dean, as the population of the animals in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire appears to be growing.

Nigel Williams managed to take a picture of the two piglets and shared it in the Hereford Times Camera Club on Facebook.

While the forest’s deputy surveyor Kevin Stannard recently told a Forest of Dean District Council meeting that he believed the boar population was “not rising significantly”, a count had not taken place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2019, Forestry England said even though wild boar were hunted to extinction at least 300 years ago, in recent years small populations have become established again as a result of accidental and deliberate releases from farms.

It said at the time: “The Forest of Dean boar population is the largest in England, and is continuing to grow. The original population established in woodlands near Ross-on-Wye after escaping from a wild boar farm in the area during the 1990s.”

In 2004 about 60 farm- reared animals were dumped in an illegal release near Staunton on the western edge of the forest, and the group said by 2009 it was clear the two groups had merged and a breeding population was “thriving”.