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I love visiting my parents in Devon. The views of Dartmoor, homecooked foods, the sounds and smells of the nearby Buckfastleigh steam train all remind me why I should visit more often. But there's one thing I look forward to more than anything when visiting:
The clues are there if you know where to look. The two wooden ducks by the pond have been knocked over again, new snuffle holes have appeared after a busy night foraging, and yet more tracks criss-cross the garden beds. All because at dusk the badgers come out to play! You could set your clocks by them. Every night without fail, they turn up from their undisclosed sett up the steep hill - sometimes one, sometimes a family of four - and play, fight, explore and eat around the garden. From our conservatory we watch them, blissfully transfixed, night after night. We really are that lucky! I hope future generations can be that lucky too.
Badgers are a staple of the British countryside. They are beautiful, family-orientated mammals, and it is our responsibility to respect and care for them. It is not our responsibility to initiate Badger culls that have no proof of effectiveness at limiting bovine Tuberculosis (TB) in cattle populations. Poor farming biodiversity, failures in disease testing and lapses in cattle movement controls - not badgers - are the cause of this spread in TB.
For example, in Wales, Badger Trust’s successful appeal against the judgement given on their Judicial Review prevented the Welsh Assembly Coalition Government from commencing their culling programme. Badger Trust was successful in helping persuade the new Labour Government that vaccination was the way forward. This, together with many improvements in farming practices in Wales, has resulted in a reduction of 33% of cattle slaughtered for bovine TB. Badger Trust has been campaigning against the culling of badgers ever since the proposal was first suggested by the Welsh Assembly Government, resulting in expenditure of hundreds of thousands of pounds. I urge you to visit www.badgertrust.org.uk where there is a wealth of information and advice on how to get involved.
We want to do our bit to help too.
Our artist, Rebecca Williams, has drawn in charcoal a beautiful Badger. Secretive, shy, but seriously good looking. Bold, fun, yet serene too, he would look great framed in any home. For all of April, we're donating £1 to Badger Trust for every Badger print sold and 5p for every time the hashtag #BadgerAlert is used across Facebook and Twitter in connection with our campaign.
We have a responsibility to protect Badger populations. Please support us by enjoying a bit of the British Countryside in your home, and re-tweeting and sharing our facebook posts. Help us support Badger Trust this April in looking after our Badgers!
Simon, Founder of Wraptious.