Warwickshire may be joining the cull list
This is where you can find the latest news and how you can help us to help our badger population in Warwickshire
Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 10th April 2018
Baginton Village Hall. Doors open 7.15pm for a prompt start at 7.45pm. Chair Denise Taylor will give an overview of the last 12 months and Peter Landsman will present the Treasurer's report. Our guest speaker is Dr Johnny Birks who will be telling us about Pine Martens.
Our Badgers in Danger!
Warwickshire may join cull list
The Government plans to increase the number of cull areas and Warwickshire is one of the new areas where, according to Defra, farmers have indicated they wish to cull badgers. Find out more about this shock announcement here.
Evesham Badger March
Saturday 5th May 2018
Abbey Field, Waterside, Evesham WR11 1BU. Starts at midday. WBG members will be there. We do hope you can spare the time and come along too! #stopthecull
Long Itchington Carnival
Monday 28th May 2018
Long Itchington will be holding their annual carnival and fete on Late May Bank Holiday Monday 28th May 2018. The carnival will assemble from 1130am in Church Road before departing at 1pm to the Community Centre in Stockton Road where the Fete will be held. From 2pm until 5pm WBG will be manning a stall with a Badger Tombola and basketball game. We hope you can come and join us. Entry is FREE.
Compton Verney House
WBG to raise awareness
Warwickshire Badger Group are working with staff at Compton Verney House to provide Badger Awareness Days. This will include games, detective work and encourage educational input. Watch this space for more details.
National Trust Property
Warwickshire Badger Group are also working closely with the staff at Upton House. Their grounds hold lots of setts and you can help us discover which setts are in use and which ones are redundant. Learn about spoil heaps, latrines, and look for tell-tale hairs at entrance holes and elsewhere.
Welcome to our Website
Here to help badgers in Warwickshire
If you would like to join, please do. We’re a friendly, informal bunch and new members are always most welcome. As a member you can do as much or as little as you like. You may wish - through your annual membership subscription - simply to support badger conservation. But if you would like to become much more active and involved you can.
What does WBG do?
Warwickshire Badger Group was formed primarily to combat persecution and that remains one of its primary roles (see badger baiting). But the Group does much more than that. It gives talks, attends shows, provides advice, looks for and records new setts, checks on existing setts, monitors road casualties, helps to rescue and rehabilitate injured or orphaned badgers, and acts as a forum for the exchange of information about badgers in the county. One of our members, Steve Hawkes, is also an accredited vaccinator. For more on that see below.
Sett data: The group has an extensive computerised database of several thousand setts systematically built up since the Group was formed, and is constantly looking for more. The database is currently maintained and overseen exclusively by our recorder Steve Hawkes. Sett location information is a valuable asset as it helps Group members to protect them. Ecological consultants, commissioned by developers and public utilities, also ask for help when they are preparing surveys, and the data is also important when liaising with planning authorities about proposed new developments.
Persecution: Sadly, for centuries badgers have suffered from persecution, chiefly from badger baiters, but also from developers and landowners. Baiters put dogs into setts to corner badgers underground. They then dig down into the setts, either to kill the badgers there and then or, as so often happens, to take them away to face fighting dogs in specially prepared pits.
Badger Baiting: Once regarded as the working man’s “field sport” badger baiting - and its more common modern equivalent of “lamping” - is now illegal. But sadly it continues. In some northern counties, notably Yorkshire, it remains a constant problem. Instances in Warwickshire are, thankfully, relatively rare, but Group members continue to work with the police, the RSPCA and other conservation bodies to reduce this illegal and abhorrent activity to an absolute minimum.
The Government’s so called “pilot culls” haven’t helped. The slaughter of badgers under licence in two pilot areas (which were intended to test the humaneness and effectiveness of night shooting, but which undoubtedly failed - as was reported by the independent monitoring teams) has led some people to suppose that badgers generally are no longer protected. But they are! It remains an offence to deliberately kill or injure badgers or to damage or deliberately interfere with their setts. That will continue to be the case everywhere with the exception of the pilot cull areas. So Warwickshire’s badgers remain protected! That’s important.
Sett protection remains vitally important and members of the public can help by reporting to the police any suspicious activity on or close to active setts, especially when it involves men with dogs, digging equipment and the use of nets. But the advice is: if you see setts being dug don’t put yourself at risk. Dial 999. Sett destruction and badger baiting are both criminal offences.
Giving advice: Inevitably from time to time badgers enter gardens where they are unwelcome. Occasionally they create setts, but most often they venture in simply to feed on worms, grubs, insects, fallen fruit - and some seasonal vegetables. Often we are asked to give advice to stop them damaging gardens, lawns and fences. We do our best. But most often there is no simple answer.
The most obvious remedy is secure, well maintained fencing, ideally with strong wire mesh attached and trenched in to prevent the badgers burrowing underneath. But often that is too expensive or impractical. One temporary remedy is an electric fence, but again that’s not always feasible. The Group has one electric fence it is prepared to loan out for short periods in return for a small donation.
Some badger groups report success with ultrasonic devices designed to deter cats and wildlife in general. One worth trying is Animal Away Plus which is sold by a number of retailers, among them Maplins.
One other remedy that has worked successfully is to position in the garden a mains-operated radio and leave it playing quietly throughout the night. The sound deters the badgers.
Badgers sometimes make a temporary home under patios, garages and garden sheds and when that happens it’s probably best to seek advice over the phone. For names of experienced Group members who can provide guidance over the telephone, or who may even be able to visit you, see Contact us, but please remember Group members are all volunteers. Their time is limited and many work full-time. For especially difficult problems the advice of an experienced professional badger consultant may be needed. But please try us first.
Badger Vaccination: As a Group we, (along with other major conservation organisations, a large number of wildlife experts, the country's top scientists, and a significant number of vets), strongly oppose the Government’s slaughter of badgers as a way of controlling the spread of bovine Tb.
We believe unequivocally that the long-term solution lies in much more rigorous and frequent testing of cattle and much tougher controls over their movement, especially those reared in bovine Tb hotspots. Improved standards of cleanliness and better bio-security on farms and, even more importantly the future vaccinating of cattle will have a crucial impact. Vaccination can also help reduce the disease in our badgers which should also be of benefit too.
In England vaccination requires a license from Natural England and the vaccine has to be administered by either a vet or a certified lay-vaccinator. In order to be certified lay-vaccinators have to be deemed competent after attending an APHA course approved by LANTRA and the Secretary of State, (after consultation with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons).
For this purpose a small number of people with suitable badger related experience were trained in trapping and vaccinating procedures in 2011. Steve Hawkes - (our group recorder of setts and road casualties, area co-ordinator, initial injured badger and rehab contact, and committee member), was among the first to successfully complete the accreditation course and pass the written and practical fieldwork examinations.
This enabled him to get the necessary Certificate of Competency and subsequent licence to trap and vaccinate badgers across Warwickshire. Since then he has carried out a number of successful projects resulting in over 70 badgers being vaccinated between 2011 and 2015. More details about our vaccination projects and vaccination in general can be accessed by clicking HERE
Organisations we work with
One Small Team
With Great BIG Talent!
and we all love badgers
Number of Members
Number of Setts
Number of Badgers
Number of Cups of Coffee