This October weather is so unseasonably mild. Temperatures that you would normally associate with the middle of May have enveloped this part of The Cotswolds.
My Badgers seem to be getting their fill, their body condition looks superb. They are in the type of condition that will enable them to withstand the forthcoming winter’s worst.
The Badger cull has gone on regardless. A meaningless, pointless exercise that can only result in more impoverished, Badgerless landscapes and will do nothing to reduce the TB in our cattle herds. An argument that continues to fall on Defra’s deaf ears.
As I sit up at my Badger sett on constant guard night after night, I watch Daddy Cool and Mrs Cool with their entirety of their family. A sight that excites and intrigues me with equal measure. Where deep within the woodland their behavioural antics are filled with respect, caring and loving relationships that seem to thrive on togetherness and the wellbeing of each and every member of the group which is paramount. I have watched Daddy Cool from the moment his cubs were born, take them this way and that within the woodland in an ever changing programme of protection. I have witnessed poachers come right to the boundaries of the Badger’s woodland and each time of danger Daddy Cool has gathered his family and withdrew from the situation. He has marched his family away from the danger by as much as a quarter of a mile in one evening and dug in ferociously by the end of it.
An unconfrontational patriarch whose presence symbolises the very word wild, for the British Badger is fundamentally wild to his heart and graces and honours any woodland habitat that is lucky enough to host him.
As I watched Daddy Cool and his entirety of his family saunter amongst the massive beech, oak and ash trees brevetting around for the fallen beech nuts and woodland mushrooms, I am watching nature that has not changed for thousands of years, but the devastating acts of the 2013 and 2014 Badger culls has unleashed demons amongst the British Badgers that in some cases nature will be totally unable to rectify. The robust, strong hard man of the woodlands needs the kind, tenderness, caring hospitality that he shows to his family and his environment through every heartbeat of his life.
Please watch my short film of Daddy Cool and his whole family enjoying his wild woodland in the manner that nature intended and when you have watched the film, ask yourself honestly, is raising a gun, setting a snare or laying poison in any way a just measure, backed by government or otherwise to treat a British icon?
My old friend, Daddy Cool and Patriarch of his woodlands will never stand alone. Long live Daddy Cool, Lord Protector of our woodlands.
Daddy Cool with his entire family.