We have now received an enforcement notice demanding we remove the pig shelter (stable), gates and access road – Making it impossible to look after the pigs and ensure their welfare.
After moving our 6 rescued pigs from a very un-suitable exposed field, for which we were charged an extortionate rent, we could not believe how lucky we were when we bought nine and a half acres of ancient, overgrown, un-managed woodland at an auction. We were fully aware that this was green belt land, but felt that the pigs would rejuvenate the woodland by clearing all the dead debris of leaves and branches that had covered the ground over decades. We have actually discovered that there had been a former dwelling in the woodland dating back to the 16th century. We used all our savings and borrowed money to purposely build a wooden stable rather than use the porta-cabin which the pigs had been used to, as we thought it would be more in keeping with the surroundings. Similarly we built a wooden gate to fit in with the environment and to protect the pigs from anyone trying to cause them harm, as they are isolated and close to a busy main road.
We consider our pigs as pets and have named them; Jen Jen (Saddleback) Beth (all black Saddleback), Betty and Tom Tom (Middlewhites) Raph and Daisy (a mixture of the two). They have survived through bleak winters in Cornwall and have been exposed to all weather’s. The woodland is a natural habitat for them and they are happy in their home, along with the other woodland companions, such as foxes, squirrels, mice and also a large variety of birds including our regular Robin and his family who are always there waiting for treats.
Recently we had to clear the build up of mud to prevent water from seeping into the stables, to keep the pigs healthy. Our aim is to manage the woodland and encourage wildlife and new species of plants to grow. We encourage people to visit the woods and have a facebook page, ‘Pigs in the Woods’ most locals really like the pigs being in the woods and have volunteered to help and have supported activity days, including a Easter day egg hunt, as well as helping out at our recent volunteers day.
We hope to provide a safe haven for our pigs and the woodland animals that have settled there and hope to rescue more animals . The pigs were regarded as runts when they were only three months old and would have been destroyed, purely as they would not have gained enough weight by the time they were ready to be slaughtered at 6 months old. They are now 6 - 7 years old and would like to spend the remainder of their lives in their natural environment.