Last Updated on 4 September 2020 by Badger
A variety of sources strongly suggest that 2020 will be the first year that the badger cull rolls out across the whole of Somerset.
That means cullers could kill badgers on the outskirts of Bristol and Bath, all the way down south to the Devon border. From the Bristol Channel in the west to the Wiltshire border in the east.
Every single village and town may have cull operatives passing through early morning or late at night, whilst cage trapping and shooting might be happening in the fields behind your house.
Lack of clarity and transparency driven by the National Farmers Union, aided and abetted by the Government, means you will not know.
As far as we can tell, badgers will not be safe in Forestry Commission land, National Nature Reserves or any other Government land including National Parks.
Are badgers safe anywhere in Somerset?
However, badgers are safe on National Trust land (both tenanted and untenanted), Wildlife Trust land, Woodland Trust reserves, RSPB and Butterfly Conservation reserves.
And there will be non-participating landowners that have refused to take part in the cull. Again, you will never know who is or isn’t taking part in the cull.
Those who are not participating may have been subjected to intense pressure from cull companies and are keen to keep their heads down. To us, they are heroes. Obviously.
However, don’t think because you live near a Site of Special Scientific Interest, that badgers are automatically safe.
Badger culling could cause damage to these sites, and measures to mitigate this are already in place.
However, inclusion on the list doesn’t mean that the site will be included.
We all feel angry that the Government has rolled out an expansive programme of badger culling this year, but take heart.
Years of experience have shown us that contacting farm shops, bed & breakfasts, wedding venue organisers, farm stays and vegetable growers reminds landowners and the farming community that much of the public is against badger culling.
And as the culls roll out, consumers will choose badger friendly products in preference to those tainted by the badger cull.
This isn’t unusual. Increasingly, wildlife-friendly products are available worldwide in response to the biodiversity crisis.
What can we do to help badgers?
For those of that can get out, this is the year to organise your own badger patrol. Choose a network of footpaths and get out there. Evenings are the best time, but early mornings are effective too. It only takes two or three people.
So, if you’ve not been able to travel to a cull zone before, now you don’t need to. The cull is on your doorstep. Sadly.