LOCALS who tuned in to Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Wild Isles’ on Sunday night (March 19) were given a welcome surprise when the Forest’s own wild boar made an appearance.

The Forest featured in a segment about the boar in winter on the new BBC One wildlife series, which is Sir David’s first based solely in the UK.

Filmakers Silverback Films and the BBC kept the segment under wraps until last week, having already shined a light on the Forest’s rich woodland habitat by highlighting conservation efforts at RSPB Nagshead in Parkend to promote the series.

In the episode, Sir David narrated footage of a group of boar and a robin restoring an “ancient relationship”, in which the birds scavange earthworms from the upturned ground where the boar dig for their own food on what was a snowy day in the Forest.

He also alluded to the polarising opinions people have about the presence of the boar, but said that to other wildlife like the robin, they are “invaluable”.

In general, the episode underlined the value of UK woodlands for wildlife, with the country having lost almost half of its ancient woodfland since Sir David was born.

On Monday evening, RSPB Nagshead site manager Lewis Thomson and assistant warden Emily Bennett appeared on BBC Points West to explain the importance of maintaining healthy woodland habitat for wildlife and biodiversity.

The woodland episode of ‘Wild Isles’ is now available to view on BBC iPlayer.