CHRISTMAS OFFER 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

Having 10,000 students on the doorstep is helping this West Lancashire town centre to thrive

Read more

In 1972, a hoard of ancient silver coins was discovered in Prestwich. These days, they’re hoping to strike gold with an unbeatable mix of community, creativity and independent shops but for one craftsperson, silver is still the way to go.

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Pendle Hill is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lancashire and you can enjoy the beautiful countryside, spectacular views and fascinating from a number of starting points in the Ribble Valley.

Read more
Pendle Hill Ribble Valley Walks
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Our walks expert John Lenehan plots a scenic course that also provides a little Lancashire history.

Read more

Steps are being taken to bridge the divides that have grown between communities and made Blackburn one of the most segregated towns in the country.

Read more
Blackburn
Monday, October 8, 2018

With the countryside turning stunning shades of red and gold, this is probably the best time to pull on your boots and go for a heavenly hike.

Read more
Lake District Walks Autumn

There is always something surprising in this old Lancashire village which attracts visitors from across the world

Read more
Cartmel
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Many youngsters their age are content to play with their toys, but a Bowness brother and sister are happiest in their walking boots.

Read more
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Britain’s biggest independent flower show attracts huge crowds and the admiration of BBC celebrities

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

When it was announced The Willow Garden Project in Fleetwood was to be the recipient of BBC North West Garden created for The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Tatton Flower Show, there were cheers all round.

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

The first ever National GetOutside Day takes place on Sunday 30 September with the aim of getting 1 million people active outdoors across the UK.

Read more

Meet some of the devilishly successful people who make this glorious Ribble Valley town tick.

Read more
Clitheroe
Friday, September 14, 2018

The site was designated Lancashire’s first ever ‘Local Nature Reserve’ in 1968 and is also designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Read more
Lytham
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A striking sculpture attracts John Lenehan to this circular walk through some oustanding scenery.

Read more

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

Property Search