We have been blessed this weekend with a visit from our son Sam whose weekend break back home from his studying at his university has been most welcome. However, his sister was unable to join us due to her ever more demanding diary dates but the return of Sam’s banter and his sense of humour has been most uplifting and a constant source of amusement.
The weather across this part of The Cotswolds has turned colder and wetter. Autumn is most certainly doing its level best to run into winter.
My Badgers have gained exceptional condition throughout the summer months and I feel sure they will all be able to withstand the harshest of this winter’s weather which has been forecast.
Not all British Badgers have been as fortunate as the ones that I have been honoured to observe. The Badger cull has wreaked havoc in the culling zones of Gloucestershire and Somerset where it has been implemented. For these groups of Badgers who have suffered the full force of Defra’s aggressive, violent, nonsensical attacks, their winter will be nowhere near as reassuring for even the survivors who have witnessed the butchery of their families, the trauma has been shown to last throughout their lifetime and the family groups seldom re-colonise.
A hundred years have passed since the start of the 1914-1918 Great War. The war that was supposed to end all wars has been marked in a most spectacular fashion. 888,246 ceramic poppies have been planted in the moat surrounding the Tower of London. A most symbolic tribute to lives lost in a blitzkrieg of carnage that affected large parts of Europe and the rest of the world. Flanders, Eypes, The Somme, names of places that are totally synonymous to war and death.
As the ice caps on the two Poles start to subside you are seeing countries once again starting to stake their claim on the riches that lay beneath the frozen ocean. The Russians earlier this year sent out an ice breaker to the North Pole where they launched a small submersible submarine from which they planted the Russian flag at the bottom of the ocean to lay their claims to the riches of oil and gas that they hope will reside there. Greenland, the United States and the Nordic countries all laying claim also to plunder this wilderness, probably for the first time in history. The mapping out of this frozen region will be done in a diplomatic, non-confrontational fashion we hope. We have surely all seen in our history books which have taught us that land grabs and border changes have been the blight of civilization. But when you see the Russian armour amassing on the Ukrainian border one has to ask one’s self what exactly has been learnt in a Europe that has been ripped apart twice in one century? Some nations have obviously learnt more than others. But with all this oil and gas it will no doubt buy more Premiership football clubs and more London fashionable property at the expense of an up till now undisturbed part of the globe, the two Poles. Let us hope that the extraction of these minerals which will undoubtedly happen have nature’s interest at the very heart of any exploration and extraction.
Please watch my short film of a female Badger busy grooming on an autumn evening.
Female Badger in a relaxed manner grooming before her evening excursions.