Equipment Fund #4: Kirklees Badger Protection Group

One of the UK’s most charismatic mammals, badgers are instantly recognisable. While most people love them, badgers are also one of the country’s most persecuted animals. Despite being made illegal in 1835 badger baiting still takes place across the UK. Fox hunts illegally block badger setts to stop foxes hiding underground. And of course 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.

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. We set up the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund to support anyone working in the wild to protect British wildlife – and that very much includes anyone trying to help stop crimes against badgers! We love badgers, and we have huge respect and admiration for the hundreds of groups that work on their behalf. While we can’t help everyone (not just yet anyway!) if you need trail cams, night-vision optics, or even hi-viz clothing please get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.

That’s exactly what the wonderful Kirklees Badger Protection Group did, and we are proud to have been able to provide them with the equipment they requested: a small trail cam to monitor their existing cams in case someone comes looking to steal them!

Jan Smith, Chair of the Kirklees Badger Protection Group, explains:

A huge thank you to Protect the Wild for funding the purchase of a wildlife camera for Kirklees Badger Protection Group in West Yorkshire.

We are a small group of volunteers who actively monitor badgers and their setts. We rescue injured badgers and lay deceased badgers to rest with dignity. We self-fund sett protections and artificial setts where necessary via online auctions, grants, and local events.

Recently a local sett in a small pocket woodland was disturbed numerous times so with the permission of the landowner we carried out an extensive sett protection.

We continued to monitor the woodland, and – good news – the badgers began to expand their home and there was lots of fresh badger activity.

But a few months down the line our monitors Paul, Caroline and Mark noticed that the holes were being blocked with large stones and tree branches on a regular basis! So up went our wildlife cameras. We caught the culprit but not before he stole one of our cameras…

With some excellent detective work and determination, the culprit was tracked down and he was subsequently visited by the local Wildlife Crime Officer.  Two crimes were recorded:  sett blocking and the theft of a camera. Apparently the 81-year-old man had dumped our camera in a skip! No explanation as to why he continuously blocked the setts.

We all need a little help sometimes and Protect the Wild has helped us continue our work looking after the welfare of badgers in Kirklees. Please support them.”





We’re working hard to raise the profile of the Protecting the Wild Equipment Fund so that more groups can benefit, and as part of that effort we’ve asked each recipient to explain what they do and how they are using the equipment we have provided – not only to show supporters how their donations are being spent, but also to encourage other groups to apply! After all, the more ‘eyes in the field’ there are, the higher the chances that wildlife criminals will be caught, and the safer wildlife will be.

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.