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The Beast of Dean By @b_thorney

The Beast of Dean By @b_thorney

Monochrome linoprint in black ink on Lokta paper by Becca Thorne @b_thorney

Paper size approx 21 x 22.5cm (printed area 17 x 17.5cm)

Wild boar were hunted to extinction in Britain sometime around the 14th/15th century, but in the early 1800s, rumour started of a huge boar-like beast in the Forest of Dean, uprooting trees, destroying hedges and crying a wild, unearthly roar. Local farmers tried to find and kill the beast, and while some stories say they were successful, others say they found no sign of it. Either way, the rumours stopped.

In the late 1990s/early 2000s, wild boar properly returned to the Forest of Dean; escaped, and illegally released, from boar farms. They're somewhat elusive, but evidence of their activity is all over the Forest - in disturbed verges where they root for food, in mud where they wallow, and on tree trunks where they scratch. With all this activity comes a more diverse woodland -  less brambles and bracken, more small flora and deciduous saplings, and more invertebrates, which is all great for birds and small mammals, and the health of the whole Forest.

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