This community urgently needs your help to save badgers

Despite being a protected animal, badgers are perhaps our most persecuted species. One community in Saltdean, near Brighton, is urgently trying to save a sett of badgers from developers, and they need your help.

Protect the Wild spoke to resident Debbie Julians, who, along with her neighbours, is trying to raise enough money to buy and preserve the badgers’ home. The land, set between houses, is due to be put up for auction for developers on 23 August. But if the community can raise £45,000 before then, they can purchase the plot.

“Our particular piece of land has badgers, slow worms, foxes and multiple other wildlife. The badgers are just a delight to watch. Their sett is on the land, underneath a protected tree. It’s such a well-established sett. There is a mum and the cub, and she is training the cub on life, pulling hay back into the tunnels.”

Debbie continued:

“The badgers have been here for well over thirty years. All we want to do is leave this one piece of plot to the badgers. It’s their home, no one else’s.”


badgers saltdean
Debbie regularly catches the badgers on camera

Community Interest Company

Debbie and her neighbours have been working hard these past four years, trying to raise enough money to purchase the land. They have set up a non-profit Community Interest Company. Debbie explained:

“There’s about 12 households involved, and we have regular meetings. It’s a well thought through process. People have taken loans out to try to raise the money, and are very passionate to keep the badgers and wildlife living. If anyone should move house, the land always stays in the caring of our triangle.”

The community has raised £30,000 so far, and has raised a little more from a crowdfunder. But they still urgently need to raise £14,000, and time is running out. So they are asking for caring people across the country to donate what they can.

We asked Debbie what will happen if they don’t succeed in purchasing the land. She said:

“I’m trying not to think that we won’t achieve it. We know what developers will do. We all have to be realistic about how people get rid of badgers and how quickly they get rid of them. We will wake up one morning and they will be laying dead. The badgers always come last. Our aim is to keep them safe, that’s all. I hope we get it. But if we don’t succeed, all donations will go to a badger society.”


Slow worm in Saltdean
The land also has slow worms living on it. Photo by Debbie Julians

A thought-out plan

The community has carefully thought through how they will maintain the land, should they succeed in buying it. Right now the plot is overgrown with brambles, and has been used as a dumping ground. Debbie said:

“We would most probably get goats. I have researched with a vet that goats and badgers can live alongside each other. Because of the slow worms you aren’t meant to go low when you cut. We have already put up badger signs to let people know there are badgers.”

Land for future generations to enjoy

As Protect the Wild regularly reports, badgers across the country are being culled, used as scapegoats in the government’s nonsensical and misguided campaign to combat bovine TB. Because of this, we are seeing local extinctions in some areas of Britain. On top of this, badgers are also targeted for baiting. Badger baiting is a cruel and secretive bloodsport which, although illegal, is prolific in Britain. Animal Survival International estimates that more than 10,000 badgers are murdered through baiting every year.

And so we need more communities like Debbie and her neighbours. She said:

“This isn’t about a piece of land and what you can do with it: it’s the badgers home, and who are we to come along and destroy that to build a few houses? We can’t eliminate them for man – it’s wrong.”

Donate to the fundraiser

It often feels like an uphill battle, trying to protect our badgers when they’re being targeted from so many different angles. But Debbie and her neighbours are a symbol of hope. They are a wonderful example of a community coming together, trying to save the precious wildlife that we have left. We need more people like them.

The auction of the land was originally going to take place on 30 August, but has been brought forward to 23 August. So time is running out to save the Saltdean badgers. If you are able to donate to the community’s fundraiser, no matter how small, please donate here.