History of the breed
The Tamworth is believed to be the purest of our native breeds and the closest living relative of the old
English forest pig. When farmers began crossing traditional breeds with imported pigs from Asia to
produce faster-growing hybrids, Tamworths were not considered worth “improving”. As a result,
their blood remained relatively untainted.
Following the Second World War, commercial breeds took over as farmers were urged to keep more
economical and more productive pigs. Consumer tastes were changing, too, with shoppers demanding
Despite a vast improvement in the number of registered pedigree Tamworths being kept, the breed
is still classed as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
The latest British Pig Association survey (2014) showed there were a total of just 454 registered sows.