Wild boar return to the New Forest

wild boar

Published Thursday 8 May 2014

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.

‘I chose to raise wild boar because, as a smaller scale farm, we can't compete with mass suppliers so I wanted to find a niche product. Wild boar seemed a perfect match as I've always been interested in them, the meat is really tasty, and it's becoming increasingly popular among consumers.

‘The New Forest Marque has been a great help to our business in terms of providing advice, promotion, contacts and marketing support.’

Whole or half-carcass New Forest wild boar meat is available now at Swallowfields Farm. For prices and availability contact Jamie Burgess on 07795082358

For more information on the New Forest Marque visit www.newforestmarque.co.uk.

-ends-

Notes to Photo Editor:

Wild boar at Swallowfields Farm.

Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest Marque® – a sign of quality

Managed by the New Forest National Park Authority the award scheme was created by New Forest Produce Limited to:

  • give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce
  • encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances
  • help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment.

For more information on the New Forest Marque and its members visit www.newforestmarque.co.uk.

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: matt.stroud@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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