A NEW ‘boar-proof’ kissing gate system has been installed at St John’s the Evangelist Church in Cinderford to prevent the animals desecrating graves.

The extra security is in response to a wild boar attack last year in which large areas of the churchyard were dug up, graves desecrated and floral tributes eaten.

The existing gate from the St John’s Square entrance off Church Road was fastened by a loop of rope which was often left undone giving the boar free access to the churchyard

Cinderford Town Council has now fitted a ‘kissing gate’ which with a latch designed to close automatically on entry.

Linda Thomas, clerk to the council, said: “We do not own the land but it is the parish church, so when they asked us to help we were happy to oblige.

“We were already buying a number of kissing gates to improve protection from boar at council owned recreation fields.

“So we just ordered an extra gate for the church. They cost about £400 each."

A church member said: "It was quite upsetting when the boar dug up the graveyard and the existing gate was not secure enough.

“We are very pleased with the new gate so hopefully that is the last we will see of the boar here.”