I WAS one of a group of several people who had gathered at the roadside in the Parkend area to marvel at a group of friendly wild boar harmlessly rooting around on the grass verge.

Some of these people had travelled from as far away as Hampshire and Devon with the sole intention of photographing the Forest of Dean boar.

When the six piglets eventually moved off back into the undergrowth, the large but highly placid sow, lingered behind seemingly at total ease in the presence of humans before moving off to join her offspring. At that moment, a Forestry Commission van arrived and the driver jumped out clapping his hands and shouting at those assembled in a most belligerent manner. I ask, first of all, what sort of example and impression did this particular person have on the visitors to our area?

It was, however, the events of the very next evening that pressed me into writing this letter.

As darkness approached, the same Forestry Commission ranger pulled up in the same area and left his vehicle carrying a large rifle fitted with some form of silencer and what appeared to be a home-made tripod. He walked up and down the nearby tracks clearly looking for the boar he had chased away the previous evening.

While I appreciate that he was probably only doing his job and under the direction of his superiors, what greatly concerns me is that, only minutes earlier, I had bumped into several people out enjoying their evening walk in that same area of woodland.

The obvious question that the Forestry Commission and the small minority who readily complain to them urgently need to address remains: "Is it really worth someone getting accidentally shot in the needless pursuit of harmless animals whose only crime is being photographed by humans and bringing much needed tourists to our area?"

It was, after all, the humans who were causing disruption to the flow of traffic and not the boar!

I would also, through this paper, be interested in knowing what the Forestry Commission's policy is on culling in semi-darkness?

Name and address supplied