3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Behind the scenes at the Bowland Wild Boar Park near Chipping

PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 June 2015 | UPDATED: 18:18 06 June 2016

Bowland Wild Boar Park

Bowland Wild Boar Park

Archant

These wild creatures haven’t roamed free in Lancashire for centuries but that doesn’t mean you can’t see them

Chris BaileyChris Bailey

His thick matted hair, beady eyes and muddy face mean Geoffrey is not the sort of chap your would want to meet on a dark night.

He has the sort of looks only a mother could love and no table manners to speak of, Conversation is confined to grunts and the occasonial squeal.

Buth then, Geoffrey is a wild boar so the finer things in life are of no concern to him unless they can be found by rooting around in the undergrowth.

It's a different matter when it comes to his offspring. These stripy, ginger creatures are perky porkers and they skip around without a care in the world.

Britain;s population of free range wild boar died our centuries ago but now they are making quite a comeback after several bids for freedom during the last decade. Defra estimates there are now around 1,000 living wild in Britain, but some experts claim that the true figure is much higher.

The vast majority are in the south of England, particularly the Forest of Dean, but you can see them much nearer to home. Bowland Wild Boar Park has had a herd of around 60 kept in large paddocks so they can be seen without any encounters of the too close for comfort kind. the centre, by the banks of the River Hodder, was set up 15 years ago by Chris Bailey and his parents Bill and Jackie.

Dad farmed the area for around 35 years, mainly with pigs but also some sheep and beef cattle. 'Since he was young, my dad had been fascinated by wild boar' said Chris. 'He wanted to keep some just as a hobby but when farming was hit particularly hard in 1999 we decided to give it a go. We started with just two and it has grown from there.'

A small number go for meat sold at the centre's shop but the biggest attraction are the piglets. Chris added 'In our first year we had 200 visitors but that has risen to 35,000. We have a lot of school visits and we are looking to get more involved in educational activities.'

There haven't been any reports of wild boar roaming free in Lancashire but there have been plenty of incidents in the south  where hikers have had a nasty surprise. The boar are quite shy but they can become aggressive when they have youngsters.

'Ours are semi-domesticated but they are still wild animals so you have to watch your back.' said Chris. 'The amles can grow to be very big and they have very sharp tusks. just don't take your eyes off them!'

Sturdy fencing at Bowland mean you can admire them in safety.

 

Bowland Wild Boar Park is two miles from Chipping on the road to Dunsop Bridge. Key PR3 2QT into your satnav and you should find it. As well as wild boar, there are meerkats, wallabies, eagle owls, racoons, alpacas, kunekune pigs, deers, rabbits and donkeys,

For more information go to www.wildboarpark.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Lancashire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Lancashire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Lancashire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

10:24

A circular walk which skirts the Lune estuary and takes in the Lancaster Canal and the railway line.

Read more

Behind the ancient sandstone facade of Browsholme Hall is a remarkable ethos of 21st century sustainability and care for the environment.

Read more
Bowland
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keswick really is a gem of a town – just ask anyone from jeweller Brian Fulton to mountaineering legend Sir Chris Bonington

Read more
Keswick
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

From cyclists to star-gazers, Bowland is attracting more visitors. It’s Hetty Byrne’s job to ensure they have fun without harming the environment

Read more
Bowland

The town has shown a lot of bottle to bounce back from a national mocking. Now, its football team and its high street are on the up

Read more
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

People of all ages are doing their bit to ensure Croston retains its place as one of our favourite villages

Read more
Croston
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Get away from it all and hit the heights with these great (but challenging) Lakeland rounds

Read more
Lake District
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Pete Tasker has celebrated 30 years with the National Trust.

Read more
Beatrix Potter
Monday, August 6, 2018

A newly launched loyalty card means supporting local businesses is all the rage

Read more
Lytham
Thursday, August 2, 2018

After years of damaging peat extraction Lancashire’s mosslands are being restored. The Wildlife Trust campaigns manager Alan Wright visits two – Cadishead Moss and Little Woolden Moss in Salford

Read more
Monday, July 30, 2018

Ramsbottom may have become a property hotspot and a foodie destination in recent years, but thing that remains a constant is the wonderful walking landscape right on its doorstep.

Read more
Ramsbottom
Monday, July 23, 2018

Huge swathes of Lancashire countryside have been destroyed by fires which have wiped out whole ecosystems

Read more
Bolton
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Handmade and homegrown are the key to success at these Burscough businesses, writes Rebekka O’Grady

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Water vole numbers have plummeted in the last 10 years caused mainly by a 30 per cent decline in their habitats. The Carbon Landscape’s Katie Chambers goes on a search for these rare mammals.

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Property Search