A FAMILY of wild boar has been spotted living in woodland near Worcester.

The boar, a female and two piglets, have been seen on common land near Callow End village.

Jayne Hassell, of Upper Ferry Lane, Callow End, and her daughter Jess, aged 18, have both seen the boar on two separate occasions.

Mrs Hassell first saw the boar from behind on Monday, March 7, as she was driving home from work. She said: “I told my family about the sightings but they thought I was being silly.

"When I was walking the dog I saw prints but my family still didn’t believe me.”

But on Tuesday, Jess, a keen horserider, saw the boar and piglets as she was riding between Callow End and Clevelode. She also spotted one of the boar last weekend on another ride.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has warned people not to approach the boar because they are very protective of their litters.

Wendy Carter, communications manager for the trust, said the boar, which are largely nocturnal, are unlikely to attack people but could become aggressive if they are disturbed.

“Most boar litters are born at this time of year so people should avoid walking through dense undergrowth where they’re likely to be,” she said.

“This may surprise and disturb a family and sows will be protective where there are litters. But there is no need for people to panic.

"Boars are largely nocturnal animals and if left alone are unlikely to attack people.”

She said the trust had not recorded any official sightings of the boar.

John Dutton, senior lecturer of ecology at the University of Worcester, has studied boar living in the Forest of Dean in Gloucesershire.

He said it was unlikely the Callow End family had come from there because it is too far, but it is possible that they have either been released or escaped.

Dr Dutton said: “They are seen as a woodland species because if they were in their native habitat that’s where they would be, but they are very capable of existing in the UK landscape at large.

“But they will choose a habitat to avoid disturbance by humans.

“Some will become diurnal, which means they will be around during the day.

“In the Forest of Dean, people were feeding them and they started coming out when people were about. People should not feed them. They should be considered to be wild animals and admired from afar.”

A spokesman for the Malvern Hills Conservators, which manages the nearby Old Hills, said: “We are aware of their presence and we do have concerns about public safety because of the piglets.

"It’s better if people try not to disturb them now they are in the area.”

• Do you have any pictures of the boar near Callow End? Email them to yournews@worcesternews.co.uk or text them to 80360, starting your message with WN NEWS.