Wild boar return to the New Forest – New Forest National Park Authority
Nearly 300 years after they were hunted to extinction, wild boar are back in the New Forest – this time within an enclosed natural environment.
Enterprising farmer Jamie Burgess of P.R. Burgess and Sons, based at Swallowfields Farm in Bramshaw, spent a year adapting his land to rear wild boar for their tasty and increasingly popular meat. The boar are now kept in a natural environment to closely replicate their experience in the wild.
An adult wild boar can weigh more than 20 stone and stand at over a metre tall. Despite their size they can run at 30 miles per hour and jump a gap of up to six feet. A dangerous wild animal licence and a site inspection are required for anyone keeping wild boar.
P. R. Burgess and Sons is a member of the New Forest Marque, a quality assurance scheme supported by the New Forest National Park Authority that promotes authentic New Forest fare of the highest quality, while encouraging people to shop locally.
Jamie said: ‘Wild boar isn’t the easiest option for farming as they have much slower growth rates than domestic pigs, but that makes the meat lower in fat and higher in protein, so it’s a healthier option than many red meats. Our method of farming doesn’t domesticate the boar as we want them to live as naturally as possible. This allows for unforced growth and a similar diet to boar in the wild, giving the best end result and a rich, nutty flavour."