A RAMBLER was attacked by a group of pigs at a New Forest beauty spot.

The four young porkers charged at Paul Lipscombe, a retired photography lecturer, as he strolled close to Mill Lawn, near Burley.

The 64-year-old was bitten by the lead animal, and as he backed off the others continued advancing on him.

Then he witnessed the same group of pigs, each as big as a medium-sized dog, charge two young women across a river.

Paul told the Echo: “The women actually ran through the brook to get away, but the pigs chased them through the water.”

The photographer said he was too shaken up by the incident to think of taking any pictures.

He said: “As absurd as it sounds, it appeared like they were out for trouble - like a gang of teenagers.

“They appeared to be quite young pigs, and I’m not sure they should be in the Forest at that age.

“There could have been a different end to the story if I had a child with me. The teeth of these things looked sharp enough to take a finger off.”

Paul, from Nelson Road, Westbourne, is now being treated by his GP with a course of strong antibiotics, following the 11am attack on Wednesday.

He said: “I was just having a quiet walk.

“All of a sudden I saw these four young pigs, which more or less came out of nowhere, making a beeline towards me.

“I’m used to animals, so it didn’t bother me. That was until the leader ran straight into me and bit me.

“I thought, what do I do now - because there are four of the blighters.

“So I didn’t run, I just backed off. But they kept coming, then suddenly stopped.”

About 200 yards from the spot, Paul said, he saw two younger women walking a dog.

“The pigs then went for them,” he said.

“These women chose to go across a small river to get away from, but the pigs were straight in the water and up the other side after them.”

Domestic pigs have been released in the Forest during autumn since the time of William the Conqueror.

The practice is called pannage, and up to 600 pigs work their way through the Forest eating acorns, chestnuts and other nuts.

Verderers of the New Forest clerk Sue Westwood said: “We have been contacted about the incident involving a group of pigs and a man near Burley.

“We are looking into the situation to ascertain exactly what took place and trying to identify the pigs in question.

“Our advice to people in general is with all our Forest animals try to give them plenty of room.

“While this incident appears to not involve the man getting too close to the animals, some people do get a bit close to them.”