THE Malvern Hills may soon be home to wild boars, and the authorities are making their plans accordingly.

Wild boar from the Forest of Dean could be here within a few years, says a report which was due to be presented to a committee meeting of the Malvern Hills Trust last night.

Among the problems encountered in the Forest is damage to gardens, sports fields and other open spaces caused by the boar rooting for food. Damage to farmland is also an issue.

There are also concerns about public safety, with a number of people reporting being chased by wild boar, which can weigh up to 200kg (440 pounds).

If wild boar feel under threat, they will exhibit defensive behaviour known as 'false charging'," which can frighten some, and dog walkers in the Forest are asked to keep their pets on a lead.The Forest of Dean is the home of the largest population of wild boar in the country, about 2,000 animals and growing.

"There is anecdotal evidence of at least one group at May Hill, near Newent," says the report. "This is just over 13 miles from MHT land at Chase End.

"As this group continues to expand, it it likely that wild boar will reach the Malvern Hills in the next few years.

"Views on wild boar are very polarised. Some people are completely opposed to their presence, while others are extremely enthusiastic about it."

Road safety is another problem, with 254 collisions between vehicles and boar reported in the Forest from 2008 to 2015.

And the possibility of poaching, with people hunting boar with trained fighting dogs and high-powered guns, is also considered.

Trust chief executive Duncan Bridges said: "This report is part of our forward planning. We want to be ready for any contingency, and the report is the first step in making these preparations."

Wild boar were native to Britain but became extinct in medieval times because of habitat loss and over-hunting. The Forest of Dean population owes its existence to escapes from farms in the 1990s and an illegal release in 2004.