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Are they becoming more common? Are they changing their feeding habits slightly? Or is it that this winter I've had the chance to get out into the woods more often?
Emroyd CommonWe take a detour over Emroyd Common, on the slope below Middlestown, a scene of mining and iron working around one hundred years ago. Avoiding the muddy main path we emerge from the fringe of Silver Birches, young Oaks and planted conifers at a clearing. A youth in a baseball cap is busy digging in the old coal workings. At first I wonder if he's picking out coal from the spoil, but no, he's creating jumps, an obstacle course for mountain biking.
At the foot of the hill a rare sight; a few British Saddlebacks amble around a muddy paddock. Apparently they make good mothers, but are inclined to put on fat. There are four sows and a boar.