Pigs joined by cattle in Cornwall moor rewilding scheme

Image caption,The pigs have been joined by 15 native breed cattle

A rewilding project that began with three pigs on a Cornish moor is developing into a “monumental nature recovery scheme”, a wildlife trust has said.

In August 2023, three native-breed pigs were introduced by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust to moorland at Helman Tor, near Bodmin.

Their task was to control plants such as bracken and help wildlife flourish.

The pigs have now been joined by 15 native breed longhorn cattle.

The trust was fundraising to continue the project in 2024, it said.

Two of the pigs
Image caption,It is hoped the pigs will control bracken on Helman Tor

Staff said they hoped the animals would “shape the landscape” through their “habitual grazing” and “disturbing of the ground” with their hooves – encouraging the growth of wildflowers.

And next month, three more pigs, this time a Tamworth breed, are set to make their tor debut on farmland newly in the trust’s possession.

The 97 acres (39 hectares) were previously farmed intensively, the trust said, with the charity now “working hard to bring it back into a more natural state”.

Andy Collins
Image caption,Andy Collins said pigs were “nature’s plough”

Andy Collins, mid Cornwall reserves manager, said: “Pigs are nature’s plough.

“They root around in the ground, turning over sods of earth with their strong necks – as wild boar would have done in Britain hundreds of years ago.”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust said the activities of the pigs http://madusekali.com and cattle were “an ancient and sustainable alternative to the use of heavy machinery”.

The trust said the Bedruthan Community Fund had offered to match money raised in an appeal to further its plans.

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