My last update on the badgers was informing you of an influx of rats into the woodland which was seriously starting to unsettle all the woodland inhabitants, but the welcome appearance of the Polecat was certainly the tonic to the rat situation that I like to think nature had intended.
Dini the fox's diet of late is solely rat and I am sure in his way he thinks he can teach the Polecat a thing or two. As I sit and watch his ratting technique from a distance within the beech trees he tackles his task with calm, almost surgeon-like attention. As he gets closer closer his chin two or three inches from the ground he will then spring gazelle like up into the air and come down onto his prey. A fox ratting is certainly poetry in motion, whereas the Polecat is very much the bull in the china shop approach, espies his prey, doesn't bother with any kind of stealth, just runs straight for it and after it, the result is never in question. A true ratting master. And almost as miraculously as the hoards of rats appeared they have now been dispersed in the same breathtaking speed. The only down side is a sett where a mother badger was going to have her young and the excitement of all the rats and the Polecat and Dini the fox seems to have forced her out and she has now gone fifty yards to the west to dig herself another cubbing chamber on the side of a disregarded sett and what absolutely astounded me was, as I watched quietly from my hide watching her dig ferociously, thinking to myself 'she has got a lot to do here, almost a race against time,' no sooner had I thought it, she was then joined by fellow badgers who seemed to sense the predicament that she was in and started to dig with her, moving bits of fallen timber. They dug all through the night, hard toil, nature's very own engineers. Rolling up their sleeves, getting stuck in.
I truly believe this kind of community spirit is needed more today than ever before.
When I listen to the news and hear of more and more food banks and soup kitchens for the poor of this country I ask myself 'why has so much gone so very wrong?' More working families living in poverty than ever before. I was once told over dinner a few years ago the poor are as poor now and so full of hopelessness that it does compare to the times in which Charles Dickens lived.
My message to the government, if I may be so bold, instead of killing the badger, if the government looked more closely at a badger's community it might give them a better understanding on how to manage ours.
Please watch my short film.
Badgers are community.