Two new residents have made their home at Bere Marsh Farm in Dorset and are already squealing with excitement and busy rootling around.

The castrated Oxford Sandy and Black boars, named Del Boy and Rodders by volunteers, arrived this month and are busy familiarising themselves in their 100-metre square pen, helping to disturb the soil for seeds and regeneration.

This is the second time pigs have been on the farm. Last year, three gilts from the same breeder had a wonderful time snuffling around on an area called Nine Acres. 

Bere Marsh Farm manager Elaine Spencer-White said: “While last year we had gilts, we realised that as we are not going to breed from them, they are better going to someone who will so we are very happy to have the boars doing their important work on the farm.

“They were barn reared but it is wonderful to see their instincts kicking in, turning over the soil to find minerals or food, such as invertebrates and roots. They help loosen the soil and create areas of bare ground so that a wider range of plant species can be established and help create a greater diversity of wildlife.”

And to help look after the pigs, volunteers have created a special group they call “Pig Watch 2. They even held a vote to come up with the pig-friendly names.

“We’re delighted that our volunteer Pig Watch 2 group is up and running,” said Elaine. “They do a fantastic job working in pairs on a roster basis to feed and check on them daily. We’re also delighted that our new neighbours from Bere Marsh Cottage, Maggie and Roger Cobb, have joined the team.”

Published: April 2024

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