National Badger Day

In less then two weeks time it will be National Badger Day. It is also halfway through the current six week badger cull. Compare that and it makes you realise how important it is to get the message out  for National Badger Day on the 6th of October.

Not only that but it’s so important that we’re celebrating the badger for the animal that it is, nothing political, which is the exact reason for the day.

It shocks me that some kids don’t even know what a badger is and I’ve even had friends that didn’t even know we have badgers in this country. An animal that is a treasure of our landscape and has been for over 400,000 years. Together with being Britain’s largest land carnivore surely it should be considered and  recognised by all. Along with that, hundreds are being killed in a bid to decrease bTb using the tax-payers money, as well as suffering from horrible acts of persecution.

As I mention though, NBD isn’t about focusing on all the bad things they experience but celebrating and making people aware about the creature it really is. On the back of this innocent, beloved species it carries the stigma of being a nuisance and that it should be eradicated from it’s home. Most would agree that this animal just deserves to be left alone from all the killing.

National Badger Day  is a campaign which is being run by The Badger Trust and closer to the date a video will be released, featuring the likes of Chris Packham, Virginia Mckenna, Steve Backshall and more, to be showcased to primary school kids, groups and at events too. Of which are taking place all around the country. Obviously though it’s going to take your help too, doing your part.

One thing I’ll be doing is giving an assembly and showing the film to year 7 & 8’s at the school I go to sixth form at. If you’re still at school, a teacher, a parent (etc) you could do the same. The video includes talk about the badgers ecology, insights of the species from quite a few familiar faces and much more.

You can also get involved by joining an event, getting the word out on social media, get yourself a National Badger Day badge, getting in touch with your local group or whatever else you can think of. Or if you want to take a hands on approach then why not join and support patrols in the field.

Events – http://www.badgerevents.org.uk/

Video trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6E5sng6juA

The final video is around 10 minutes long.

National Badger Day badge – http://shop.badgertrust.org.uk/en/products/badges-stickers/national-badger-day-badge.aspx

Badger cull patrols – https://georgiaswildlifewatch.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/worry-not-do-more/

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Get involved and do something positive for National Badger Day!

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September’s uproar

Right then. So no-one’s allowed to speak out about the persecution of Hen Harriers any more, even though it’s a crime, or the negative impacts of driven grouse shooting, even though they scale out the positive ones, or how all science about the cull says it won’t work, even though there’s no science suggesting it will, or the horrific cruelty to species like the fox if the Hunting Act was to be repealed, even though they’d probably be killed in unimaginable ways, and so on.

Sounds morally wrong to me but these are the suggestions of those at the Countryside Alliance and some more, who are trying to silence us ‘tree-hugging townies’ that know nothing about the countryside. Don’t even mention that ‘prada wearing, muddled’ guy, Chris Packham! As Robin Page has put it, the ‘Packham Loop’.

As many will know, in the September issue of the BBC Wildlife Magazine, like most issues, Chris Packham published, once again, a very interesting and thought provoking article. However this one was like no other. I don’t think anyone was expecting to find that the result of it would be such a bash up from those on the opposite side of the table. After the Countryside Alliance got wind that was when it all set alight.

They were furious that not only was he speaking out against a lot of the things their organisation believes in but people were listening to him! How dare they?! By this I mean they were rather annoyed that he was allowed to speak about things when he has a job like he does. Where people do follow him, support him and listen unlike you Mr Bonner. What attention do you get apart from mainly bad? Then again I suppose any attention is good attention for him, this is illustrated nicely by a few of his tweets.

This afternoon I came across another article from someone who never seeks to surprise me, Robin Page. A ludicrous man and a perfect example that people ‘like him’ are on a completely different page to a lot of people, especially those who CARE and want the best for the countryside in the way that it can thrive. I’ve read a few articles about this issue like this but I’ve also read some very positive ones too, along with comments on various articles which say it all really. Those at the forefront may be a minority but we are growing and when we do get the message out there people will realise.

It has become quite a twisted issue though. From a regular column in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, which was primarily about the work of Britain’s conservation charities, it has turned into something where the CA are lobbying to get Chris the sack and basically find someone to pick on. We’ll never be silence though and this is obvious by the uproar that’s happened in support of Chris and the work that he does.

So, thank you for all of your targeting as, if anything, you brought an army closer together. With over 70,000 signatures in just a matter of days on a petition, what can I say. Except it’s a shame they haven’t all signed this one too! – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104441

As well as that, I think at this point it could be a good idea to write to the BBC Wildlife Magazine expressing your opinion and views on it all. I imagine they’ve probably been sent some negative comments and we need to make sure that the comments in support are overpowering those against. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do a page on the feedback or just for the normal comments page. Not only to make it clear that we support Chris but to make sure they know we aren’t going anywhere and what he says is agreed with by many. An email to do so with would be – wildlifeletters@immediate.co.uk

Dear Mr Gibb…

If you read one of my latest posts, Thanks Mr Gibb but nature is important, you’ll know that back in July I met with my local MP and then went onto write to Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department of Education, about the need for outdoor/environmental education on the National Curriculum.

After Nick Gibb’s very unhelpful, but predictable, reply I have gone on to set up a very exciting project/campaign that I hope to share with you all in the next few days. Along with this I also wrote back to him. I haven’t received a reply yet but I’ve decided to share the letter that I wrote with you all.

Dear Mr Gibb

 

Thank you for your reply to my letter, a copy of which I have attached. I’m pleased you took the time to reply to what I had to say regarding the need for more outdoor education at primary level.

 

However, I would like to reply and add to my point. In the letter it seems you have stated what is on the National Curriculum at the moment, I had done my research before sending you the letter so knew this already. I feel as though you have not considered my point and you don’t reply to my statement that we need more young people coming through into either professions in conservation etc or the importance of why every child needs to have a connection with their natural surroundings. I don’t mean to be rude but do you not understand that nature is important?

 

You mention how the environment is included in biology and geography. When I think back to any environmental education throughout my primary education I can’t think of one example. I asked my brother and he said he may be able to think of one, however this was organised solely through the school. The only reason why he remembers this is because it was practical, which is what’s so important. It imprints in your mind due to the amazement you experience.

 

I go into local primary schools and do activities with younger children through community based projects. some of which I’ve helped set up myself. The last visit into a school was just a couple of weeks ago when we did bug hunting with year 2’s. None of them had done anything like this before. When a blackbird flew past, they had no idea what it was.

 

My point is, if there is a teaching of nature in schools which is already on the curriculum then it simply isn’t enough. One of the children said that it was one of the best days of his life! It not only benefited him in the way that he learnt something new but it made him feel better, made him happy. Isn’t making a young child at school happy something that you should aim for? Improving a child’s education? Except I know that he will most likely never do anything like that again. It was a one off project, the school have obviously not enrolled in something like this before or else he would have been able to tell me. In today’s society when most parents worry about dangers and so called ‘dangers’ he probably won’t be encouraged to do it again either.

 

A question I’d like you to ask yourself is when you were younger, how did you fill the time when you had nothing to do or just for something to do in general? If you were like my parents and grandparents then it was the case of just going outside. Climbing trees, riding bikes, playing sport in big open fields, appreciating the wildlife around and so on. Perhaps it was something you took for granted as it was always there and always an option? Your parents had no problem with it and nether did society. As well as this, at the moment, deep down I’m sure you understand and know what towards nature has positive and negative impacts. From Wikipedia I know you were born in 1960. From the State of Nature report I also know that since 1970, when you would of been 10, 60% of animals and plants studied have declined.  Along with other threats too. Now isn’t that scary? Well more then scary, nature not only in the UK but abroad too is in some trouble. We can do what we can now but what about the future? What way will it go? With figures showing only 1 in 10 children connect with nature, I’m very worried and it could well be very bleak.

 

But why is that so important to be acting for nature? Well you just think back to what you had to eat last night, everything on that plate was only there because of the natural world. All the ecosystems. It’s why we’re here today so not only is it beautiful and enjoyable but important to all of us.

 

I’ve gone a bit away from the point but I wanted to make myself clear. Even though some outdoor education is there, I know it varies from school to school. A child isn’t going to develop any type of interest when they have a couple of lessons in year 2 then a couple in year 5. I’m sure you’re very aware that it doesn’t work like that. Although out of school outdoor activities, sessions etc for children are very important, not every child has the privilege to attend.

 

I have many more points that I can add to my argument and I would appreciate it if you could take some more time out and we could arrange to chat about this extremely important subject in person.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Georgia Locock

Fighting on at all levels

Raising the profile about how hideous this cull is very important. So has it been over the past weeks and months. Doing anything and everything to try and get through to those involved with making it happen. From what I’ve witnessed, read and heard, it hasn’t been easy at all, which is obvious! This fight isn’t just about the cruelty to the badgers and the science behind it but the policy and politics too.

So as the culls have begun, it’s important to keep up the fight on every level. We must show them that we’re not going anywhere and neither will we ever give up. At the moment so many things are going on to fight against the cull, it’s quite uplifting in such a horrible situation. Although it is happening right now people haven’t given up at all. I certainly felt very hopeless last week when I heard the news, especially about Dorset, but giving up is the worst thing you can do, it’s all about turning it into positive energy and strengthening the fight.

As you may know there’s a whole bunch of dedicated people patrolling the cull zones. I follow what’s happening and how their doing via social media. It looks a very, very tough job for them all. Whether it’s the lack of sleep or some of the sights they witness, it must be hard. But these people are just brilliant, they still go out and are still doing everything they possibly can. Unfortunately though, they do need more support. By that I mean more people and funds. By having more people patrolling with them at night that’s more badgers lives saved, actual lives saved. Whether it’s releasing them from cages before they’re shot, monitoring the setts or patrolling the local area to see what activity is going on.

This is the third time I’ve given details away on my blog but they really do need your help.

Dorset – http://dorsetbandb.org

Gloucestershire – www.glosagainstbadgershooting.org

Somerset – www.somersetagainstthebadgercull.org

I really would like to go and spend a good amount of time helping with all the work they’re doing in the cull zones but unfortunately at the moment I only have at least one weekend planned.

As you’ll probably know, in a situation like this you just want to do what you can and as I mentioned it’s important to keep the fight up on all grounds, keeping the pressure up. So much so a rally at Westminster took place yesterday afternoon.

The rally started at 12 and took place at Old Palace Yard. People gathered, placards were held high and badger masks were handed out, then a crowd of people turned up with placards and Brian May. He always seems to do a superb job. He raises a lot of awareness on social media and in the media and not just for badgers either. Everyone was advised to wear black as it was acted as a funeral. They also had an old hearse with flowers shaping #TeamBadger and #FailingBadgerCull along with ‘2263 RIP’. It was a very strong and stern message to those on the opposite side of the road.

There was a variety of talks, from MPs such as Caroline Lucas (Green) and Angela Smith (Labour) to Will Travers (Born Free foundation), Hilary Jones (Lush), Pauline Kidner (Secret World), Peter Martin (Badger Trust), Marc the Vet, Brian May and a few others too.

After the talks there was some gathering, chatting and lots of interviewing as there were lots of journalist about.

Here are a few photos from the day.

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I really enjoyed Caroline Lucas’ talk, it was very powerful and clearly expressing that we will win.

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On the way back to our train we happened to pass near this rough place and I couldn’t help but use the opportunity to get this photo.