Safety Library

Wild Boar

Sites are seeing increasing numbers of wild boar, often in wooded areas. The Landowner needs to ensure that hazard information on and around forestry worksites are communicated to the FWM – including the more random hazards!

August 2023 - Nature Scot have collaborated with Forestry and Land Scotland and others within the Land Management sector in Scotland to produce industry recognised Best Practice Guidance for the management of Feral Pigs in Scotland. See below for additional links.

Large areas of uprooted and disturbed soil are a tell-tale sign of wild boar presence. Powerful neck muscles and a long snout allow the animals to plough through the ground in search of food. Boar should always be treated with caution. Normally they will flee from people, but can be aggressive if they feel threatened, especially females with young. Dogs should be kept on leads in woods where boar are known to be present. If you encounter a wild boar, the best advice is to move away slowly in the opposite direction. 

When a family group (known as a sounder) is disturbed, the tendency is for one of the larger sows to move and position themselves between the person and the young piglets, often with much snorting. The other sows in the group will then lead the piglets to safety in deeper vegetation. Once the family have moved off, the defending sow will usually suddenly turn and re-join the group out of sight. 

The defending sow may, however, be provoked into a mock charge if they feel threatened. This may happen if a person continues towards the sow, either to get a better look or simply because they have not noticed the animal. 

Male boar tend to be seen alone, and can grow to a significant size.  The older male boar are less likely to run or move away from people, often simply standing and watching as you pass by.

See links below for more information.

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