30th November ’19 – Worcestershire Hunt

*** Worcestershire Hunt staff, hounds and terriermen found at artificial earth with badgers in residence in Hunt Master’s garden ***

We had a tip-off this morning (well, we had 6 but we had to choose one of them) about the Worcestershire Hunt meeting in Bradley Green. We’d been staking out some setts elsewhere (early morning sett-blocking patrol is getting a lot colder!) but headed over. Once in the area we heard a great raucous around a farm where we believe one of the hunt masters lives, huntsman encouraging hounds on and what we thought could be several hounds marking to ground. As a terrier quad headed inland in the hunts’ direction so did sabs…

… and we found a non-badger-proof artificial earth with hound paw prints around the entrances and, most importantly, evidence of badger occupation. [This is particularly interesting given the recent finding of a shot badger stuffed in a sett which was marked at and blocked by this hunt earlier this month.] At this point stalkers arrived and the hunt moved off.

It was quite a long day from there on with some landlocked areas, a few lies about locations of footpaths (and general confusion from stalkers who weren’t even provided with maps of the area…), much mud and several WhatsApp messages and phone calls between stalkers and hunt staff regarding the location of sabs. Hounds were in and out of cry all afternoon. As the daylight began to fade huntsman gathered his hounds for quite some time at Bradley Green before finally packing up with, we hope, the full pack.

The artificial earth was then well-documented (especially as it is an odd design) and we will be keeping an eye on it regularly in future – this time last season a holloa was heard in this area and a fox ran from nearby with quadbikes audible inland – now we know more about the location we can do more.

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