One of the UK’s most charismatic mammals, badgers are also one of the country’s most persecuted. Since the government began an ‘experiment’ in badger annihilation on behalf of the dairy industry (tearing up the Protection of Badgers Act 1992), hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered (see ‘The biggest wildlife genocide of our time is happening right now‘). Hundreds more are killed on the UK’s roads every week, and hunts still use terriermen to illegally send dogs into badger setts to flush out foxes.
Fortunately, there is an army of people who love badgers and are prepared to spend much of their lives watching over and protecting them and their setts. Whether individuals or groups, the majority are volunteers and receive little or no funding whatsoever.
Which is where Protect the Wild is aiming to step in. The Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund was set up in Summer 2023 to help put ‘eyes in the field‘, empowering people to protect British wildlife. We use it to provide equipment like body cams, trail cams, night vision kit, and video cameras to monitors and activists working on the front line.
One of the groups we’ve been contacted by is the Mid Derbyshire Badger Group (MDBP). The government cull has hit Deryshire’s badgers very hard. 1,939 were killed in the county in just 2022. MDBP asked us to help them with trail cams to monitor badger setts for activity, a vital part of protecting badgers as the group explains below:
“Mid Derbyshire Badger Group cover an area of the county stretching from east to west, from Derby in the south to Bakewell in the north. The Group’s objectives are to encourage the understanding and study of badgers, their environment and habitat, and to promote measures that enhance their welfare and conservation.
We are extremely grateful to Protect the Wild for helping us to buy two new trail cameras. This is the most important piece of equipment our volunteers use to try and stop badger crime. Unused setts aren’t given the same legal protection as active setts, so for us to be able fully protect a sett we have to gather evidence that it is active. These cameras will do just that. Thank you for supporting our work”
- the Mid Derbyshire Badger Group website is at midderbyshirebadgergroup.co.uk and they are on Facebook at facebook.com/1MDBG/.
- For emergency help with injured badgers please call 07843 808124.
- To learn more about the protection badgers have in law and what to do if you see badger crime, please go to Protectors of the Wild | Badgers and the Law.
The Mid Derbyshire Badger Group is the tenth organisation we’ve funded since July!
We are able to buy the equipment we give out because of paid subscriptions on Substack. While all our online content is free, any money we do receive from paid subscriptions is ringfenced and used to buy equipment to put ‘eyes in the field’. It’s a simple idea – but the best ideas usually are! If you’d like to know more we have explained it all in our post “What do we mean by “Empowering people to protect British wildlife“?
With your support we will be giving out many more pieces of equipment to groups over the coming months and years. And we will always keep you up to date with how your support is directly helping wildlife!
If you’re an individual or organization working in the field and would like to apply to our fund please read our T&Cs here first and use the online application form on the same page.