Fighting the Cull – The Front Line Part 2

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Environmental
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ll apologise for being a little quiet lately. It’s been a busy time and sometimes it can be a little overwhelming taking everything in and organising your thoughts. I’ve been out of the country for a short while helping a friend celebrate his wedding. I wish him and his new wife the very best although I have little doubt their life together will be a success. However whilst away I couldn’t help but stay linked to my various information sources and getting all the updates I could on how things were going in the cull zones. I was supposed to be relaxing and celebrating however in reality I was counting down the days until I could get back home and back to the killing fields and make my own small contribution to saving our wildlife.

I returned to Gloucestershire last week.

It’s seems a strange situation. There are no doubt still people out there with guns and cages desperate to make a dent in the badger population but in general things seem much quieter than they did last year. There does seem to be a lower number of shooters and from all the information received so far it would transpire that their kill rate is far lower than they anticipated and they’re falling well behind schedule already. This will of course be of some concern to the NFU and the cull companies and they’ll no doubt try and redress this balance by drafting in more guns. However with the increased organisation and modern equipment we’re deploying we’re never going to make the situation easy for them. So far various groups have successfully foiled multiple shooting attempts and cages have been neutralised.

The police have maintained a relatively low presence and so far there have only been a few cases of bad policing and favouritism however as the time draws on and tensions become strained I have no doubt this will change.

For my own part my last visit was fairly quiet save a few interesting incidents. During a daytime sett check we found a baited sett. The bait was removed and rendered inedible by answering the call of nature over it, always an effective method for dissuading badgers they’re getting some free chow. Luckily this particular location is well monitored and those evening monitors are well informed so hopefully the badgers will stay safe.

bones

The Bone Yard

It’s always interesting to note the state of some of the farms. Sheep were noted to severely lame, water troughs filled with all sorts of algae and clearly not suitable to drink from by either man or beast and a bone yard discovered in an out of the way place where the farmer, rather than dispose of animal corpses in the correct manner had dumped them out of site to rot. This site also had a large badger sett and no doubt the badgers would have scavenged the remains. There must have been in excess of 30 sheep skulls plus more bones than I could count. Another fine example of how our guardians of the countryside chose to conduct their affairs.

The final incident of the evening occurred when guarding a sett in the Upleadon area. A 4×4 driving through a field is a sure sign of shooter activity however on this occasion it turned out to be alleged local sex pest and wannabe hard man Hedley Midwinter, better known as “Mullet Man”. For those of you who don’t know him Hedley is well known in the area for intimidating lone female activists by suggesting hugely offensive and sexual solutions to their problems. I’d imagine he’s a somewhat twisted individual with limited intelligence who likes to act as some kind of enforcer for the cull company. There are several outstanding incidents from last years cull which are still to be addressed by the police including one where he drove at a wounded badger patroller who had to dive for her life. However this latest incident saw him drive round the field a couple of times, uttering some monosyllabic nonsense in our direction before retreating with his tail between his legs once he knew we had identified him and we wouldn’t back down. He runs Midwinter Transport, and owns a farm heavily involved in the cull so perhaps give him a call and ask him how he thinks things are going but please don’t put his number into one of those request call back things you find on Google.

Hedley

Hedley Midwinter – Such a charmer!

I’ll be back in the zone for a few more days next week so more updates will follow then. To all of those doing the remarkable work, the long hours and the hard yards both in Somerset and Gloucestershire I salute you. All those who can’t get down there, keep sending in the donations. To all those with guns – we’re waiting for you.

 

Comments
  1. Jackie says:

    really enjoy your blog especially with such encouraging news! Many thanks!

  2. bob says:

    Interesting that you feel a badger is such an immensely important creature to protect. Please do assure me that you are aware of the spread of disease and the decimation of other populations that have accompanied the expansion of badger numbers in recent years. Ground-nesting birds? Hedgehogs? Plover? Curlew?
    It would be fascinating to learn of your proposals for the future management of the country landscape to ensure the continued survival of the less cute creatures not at the top of the food chains.

    • You’re spouting the same old arguments from the pro-cull lobby, arguments that in reality don’t stand up to scientific scrutiny or indeed common sense. They’re pretty tired and have been comprehensively debunked time and again. To be honest I don’t feel like wasting my time explaining this to you as I suspect your mind is closed on the subject however by far and away the biggest reason for species loss is the reduction in suitable habitat and food sources largely down to modern farming methods and poor land management.

      The solution to bTB is well known and doesn’t include killing any wildlife, badgers or otherwise. Our wildlife has a right to exist without interference, management in my experience usually means killing for the benefit of a few. It’s time to move on and fit in with our environment rather than try and control it for financial gain or sick fun.

      I’ll make a stand against any environmental vandalism or the persecution of any species for commercial gain be they bees, badgers or elephants.

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