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Hayley Clayton

Part Time Lecturer in Ecology

Institute of Science & the Environment

Contact Details

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Hayley Clayton joined the University of Worcester as a part-time lecturer in September 2011. Her other role is as a Community Ranger for the Forestry Commission in the Forest of Dean. Previous to this she was a Recreational Ranger, also for the Forestry Commission, managing Beechenhurst Lodge, the honey-pot site in the Forest of Dean. 

Hayley has extensive experience of visitor and recreational management, the applied use of conservation legislation and the management of the recreation/conservation interface. In addition, she has strong ecological surveying experience, in particular of surveying and monitoring otters and brown hare for the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Severn Vale Living Landscape Project.

Hayley is also currently studying for her PhD on wild boar and has interests in human/wildlife interactions, conservation/countryside management and re-wilding.


BSc (Hons) Wildlife Management, University of the West of England, 2010
Recipient of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust Award for Greatest Contribution to Wildlife Conservation, 2010
Hayley is an active member of the British Ecological Society, Mammal Society and Countryside Management Association

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Hayley teaches and supports the delivery of a number of modules, drawing on her experience within the conservation/forestry sector. However, her principle involvement is:

Level 4 (1st Year Undergraduate)
ENVS 1005 Practical Conservation

Level 5 (2nd Year Undergraduate)
ENVS 2107 Conservation Legislation and Policy

Level 6 (3rd Year Undergraduate)
ENVS 3112 International Conservation
ENVS 3102 Environmental Impact Assessment

PhD Research

Wild boar in the Forest of Dean, aspects of their ecology and management.

After an absence of seven hundred years wild boar are once again free-living in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. This is one of only two principle locations within the UK were there are now viable free-living populations of this once extinct (in the UK) species. The population in the Dean appeared initially from an escape of 14 boar from a farm in Ross-on-Wye in the late 1990s and subsequently from an illegal dump of 60 animals near Staunton in 2004. From these initial populations the boar are now widely distributed within the area, are known to have crossed the River Wye and population estimates range widely with a working figure being around the 650 mark.

Wild boar reproduce quickly being toward the r-selecting end of the reproduction continuum. They can take advantage of favourable environmental conditions, reproducing up to twice a year and reaching puberty at 30kg of weight rather than at an age class. The sows produce 4-6 (on average) hoglets per litter, living in maternal groups known as sounders. Juvenile male boar group together after being ousted by the sows in late summer/early autumn. Once adult, the males become solitary only rejoining sounders during the main rutt in November-December. Wild boar are omnivorous, consuming roots, invertebrates, tree mast and rhizomes. They create rooted areas whilst foraging, these are distinctive in character, the turf being turned over on itself, such rooted areas can be quite extensive.

The effects of the re-emergence of this species on the forest ecology, the human residents, and visitors is, as yet, to be ascertained in any long term capacity. An initial study (Dutton and Clayton in prep) into the public perception of the boar in the Forest showed that most were welcoming but there were issues over perceived ‘damage’ and the potential danger to dogs and people.

This PhD study is investigating aspects of the ecology, the impact of wild boar on the Forest of Dean and the human dimension to their presence. This investigation is in direct response to the DEFRA Action Plan (DEFRA, 2008) and the Forestry Commission’s Feral Wild Boar Management Plan (Forestry Commission, 2011). The three principle areas of investigation are:

1. What is the current distribution of wild boar in the Forest of Dean in relation to habitat type?
2. What is the impact of wild boar on forest vegetation and invertebrates?
3. What are the human perceptions to the presence of wild boar within this area and what impact, financial or otherwise have they had?

Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies



Conference Presentations and Symposia

Clayton, H.T. & Dutton, J.S. (2012). Wild Boar Study Day. A one-day symposium delivered to the Conservation Ecology Special Interest Group, British Ecological Society. Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean. 4th April 2012.

Dutton, J.S. & Clayton, H.T. (2010). Public perception of wild boar in the Forest of Dean, England, potential implications for their future management. 8th International Symposium on Wild Boar & Other Suids, FERA, York. 1st-4th September 2010.

Clayton, H.T., Dutton, J.S., Farrell, M. (2010). Public perception of wild boar in the Forest of Dean. Mammal Society Annual Conference and AGM, Bangor University. 26th-28th March 2010.

Dutton, J.S. & Clayton, H.T. (2010). Public perception of wild boar in the Forest of Dean, England, potential implications for their future management. Bristol Science and Research Colloquium, Bristol Zoo. 1st December 2010.

Dutton, J.S. & Clayton, H.T. (2009). Wild boar in the Forest of Dean: history, current Issues and future research. Bristol Science and Research Colloquium, Bristol Zoo. 4th March 2009.

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities