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15 November: Chantal Lyons-The Return of Britain’s Wild Boar

Big, messy and mysterious – crossing paths with a wild boar can conjure fear and joy in equal measure. Driven to extinction seven hundred years ago, a combination of the species’ own tenacity and illegal releases from the 1980s has seen several populations of this beast of myth begin to roam English and Scottish woods once more.

Their habitat-regenerating actions may benefit a host of other wildlife; but unlike beavers, these ecosystem engineers remain unloved by many. Why is there no clamour to reintroduce them across the land? And, with the few boar in England threatened by poaching and culling, why are we not doing more to prevent their re-extinction?

Chantal Lyons moved to the boar’s stronghold of the Forest of Dean to get up close and personal with this complex, intelligent and quirky species. And she met with people across Britain and beyond who welcome them – or want them gone. From Toulouse and Barcelona where they are growing in number and boldness, to the woods of Kent and Sussex where they are fading away again, to Inverness-shire where re-wilders embrace their presence, join Chantal as she reveals what it might take for us to coexist with wild boar.


Chantal is a writer and naturalist, with a background in social and environmental sciences. By day, she is a science communicator at Mindfully Wired Communications. She previously worked for the Marine Stewardship Council. Chantal’s book Groundbreakers was sparked when she first went to the Forest of Dean in 2014 to interview local residents about their experiences of living with wild boar, for what she thought would never become more than a Masters dissertation. But the story of this myth-like creature and its return to Britain took hold of her – and has never let go


£10 advance / £13 on the door


Doors/bar 18.30

Talk 19.30

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