Pigs roam free to help clear the forest floor in Holt

A black pig that has been set free to roam in Holt Country Park to tackle the bracken and brambles.

A black pig that has been set free to roam in Holt Country Park to tackle the bracken and brambles. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE.

Seven pigs have been released today to munch through the dense bracken and bramble on the ground of Holt Country Park.

Seven black pigs have been set free to roam in Holt Country Park to munch through the bracken and br

Seven black pigs have been set free to roam in Holt Country Park to munch through the bracken and brambles. Picture MARK BULLIMORE.

The Large Black pigs are free to roam in a 20mx20m cordoned off area to regenerate and restore the woodland.

Countryside rangers at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) decided to use the pigs as naturally they forage by rooting up the ground, turning up the soil and clearing the ground.

Large Blacks have been chosen as they are docile but hardy and perfect for living within a woodland environment in any season.

Cllr Becky Palmer, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture at NNDC, said: 'I think this is fantastic. It makes perfect sense to use the pigs' natural instincts to curb the dense bracken and bramble and I hope that this idea really catches on for other areas of the district.'

Seven black pigs have been set free to roam in Holt Country park to tackle to bracken and brambles.

Seven black pigs have been set free to roam in Holt Country park to tackle to bracken and brambles. Pictured from left is Mark Tasker of Wildwood farm who owns the pigs, Cllr Becky Palmer of NNDC and Park Ranger Will Fitch. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

By clearing the ground, it will encourage the other plants to flourish and the trees to regenerate.

The pigs are owned by Mark Tasker of Wildwood Farm in North Elmham and come from Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

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They will be checked twice every day and will have warm shelter, water and some supplementary feed.

After a month of roaming they will be moved to another area in the park and will finish fully by March next year.

People are being urged not to feed the pigs as Foot and Mouth disease can be spread from kitchen scraps; and dog walkers are being asked to keep their dogs on a lead in this small area for the benefit of the pigs and dogs.

Warning signs are also visible to notify visitors and dog walkers of the pigs and the electric fence.