The most important thing to remember is our phone number: 07709 624903
WHAT YOU WILL NEED AND A FEW TIPS:
We do not provide postcodes unless it be for camps or meeting points as countryside postcodes may cover a large area and are no use for finding setts. Maps are absolutely essential unless you know the zone very well indeed. You will need the orange Ordnance Survey map and the following maps cover Gloucestershire including the ‘original’ West Gloucestershire zone and North Cotswolds zone:
OS 179 – Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud. Covers West Glos and North Cotswolds areas
OL 14 – Wye Forest and Forest of Dean. Covers part of West Glos area and part of Herefordshire zone
OL 45 – Cotswolds. Covers a large part of the North Cotswold area
OS 168 – Stroud, Tetbury and Malmesbury. Covers south Glos
A decent (local) road map may suffice if you are not leaving the car. If you know in advance which area you will be working in, so may only need to bring one or two of the above maps. We may get some donated but it is the responsibility of those attending to bring their own as it isn’t guaranteed.
If you’re stuck, it may be handy to have an app on your phone to help (but do not rely on them if possible – if your battery dies or you have no signal and you don’t have a back-up, you could get stuck!) Some possible apps for a smartphone include:
and this link talks more about those available.
If you do not drive and need a lift you will need to discuss with the driver what time to come back, whether a contribution for petrol is needed and so on. No-one should ever be left in the field – if someone is running late for a pickup, arrangements should be made for someone to get them if a driver cannot wait. Equally try not to hold others up if they are waiting to get out to the area they are protecting.
Likewise, it is the responsibility of those attending to provide their own equipment. A torch and a spare, with spare batteries, is absolutely essential. Sometimes we have equipment and we can help, but any presumption that we will provide all equipment needed will more than likely be met with disappointment as there can be high demand!
A local list including garages, supermarkets, outdoor and camping shops will be made available (see bottom of page for online version). We will not be quartermasters for equipment, although anyone who wishes to take on responsibility for this role is more than welcome!
Some people arrived in the zones in the first year inadequately attired and suffered as a result. You need to be prepared for both scorching sunshine and freezing conditions. We went from sunstroke to hypothermia over the months involved so recommend to all those who are new to this sort of thing the following:
Layers: warmer than heavy clothes and if you get hot you can take some off. Don’t bring anything new and loved – it may well get wrecked by wire / brambles / mud / poo…
You will get wet despite waterproofs so you need to prepare for that and keep something dry somewhere to change into.
Many of us will be walking for miles – trainers on a warm September day are fine but you may suffer when the torrential rain comes at 2am. Each to their own though – we do know of those who went barefoot, but we don’t recommend it for everyone! Wellies can be good but others prefer walking boots.
Bring a hat – a lot of heat escapes through the head & bring gloves – EVERYONE should have gloves!
Goggles / safety glasses were found to be very useful last year to protect eyes from maize and brambles.
Water is an absolute essential, even if it is cold and wet – you will get dehydrated – and high energy snacks are also handy. Some recommend taking a thermos flask.
Pen or pencil (pencils work well in wet weather) and paper for writing grid references, car reg numbers, etc. down.
Did we mention torches? Carry a torch at all times and a spare even if it is daytime. You might be out longer than predicted.
Be careful with things like car keys and phones. Have something that zips them up safely, you really don’t want your iPhone in a cow pat or in the hands of a trapper. Think about having a cheaper phone to go out with. If you can, encrypt your phone then if the worst happens at least it is very difficult for someone to access although a police lab’ will do so with relative ease, so don’t get too complacent. Do swap numbers with those you are working with and give any number to phone in an emergency.
For the pain of stinging nettles and bramble scratches after-sun works quite well, as do the old remedy of dockleaves. An antihistamine may be handy as well.
If you need an inhaler, insulin or other medication please make sure that you bring it and let those who you are working with know in case you have an asthma attack / become hypoglycaemic, etc.
It’s probably best to blend in and not wear animal rights badges, t shirts etc. The North Cotswolds especially is tourist central so lots of people are about. However it is not wise to be identified as a badger protector unless that is your strategy and you don’t mind, as it is difficult to sett check whilst being followed about.
Regarding vehicles, please make sure that you are road legal re: MOT / insurance / road tax / tyres / etc. In the first year the police took great delight in impounding vehicles which were insured, but did not show up on the system as being so. Please check with your insurer that your details are on the national computer – in one case where the insurer had failed to do this they did then pay for a taxi for the stranded person and also paid the £150 fee, but it was still very inconvenient.
Regarding camping. Please bring whatever you can to make you comfortable. It will be cold so a good sleeping bag is advisable. Pop up tents tend to not keep you dry in our experience. It’s also nice to be able to make your own tea or coffee. Any facilities we offer will be basic so please be aware of this, though at camp there will be cooking and washing facilities and a kettle!
(please be aware that the number below may well change in future culls, so keep up-to-date with which numbers to call on the ‘Joining Us’ page)
With numbers of people flocking into the various cull zones over the years we have set up an organised camp in order to give people a place to stay. There have also been some places available in locals’ houses for people to crash. With the cull rolling out to more areas we will, naturally, see fewer numbers flocking into an area and are encouraging people to set up local groups for their own areas in order to combat wider wildlife crime as well as the cull if it comes to their area. We will still provide some accommodation in coming years for anyone wishing to come into the West Glos / North Cots / South Glos areas but will have to assess this year-on-year. In general…
Any camp food provided by us will be vegan, the reason for this is being that it includes everyone, stops cross contamination of non-vegan food and allergens. Those who wish to eat non-vegan items are free to do. Whatever your views, be sensitive and respectful to those around you. Keep discussions polite in person and online.
It will be cold, so please make sure that you have enough bedding. It is the responsibility of each person to bring their own tents / sleeping bags, mattresses, etc. or to make arrangements with the camp coordinator for these to be provided in advance. Pop up tents do not tend to work in our experience over longer periods of time, so we advise that no one relies on them.
There is a no smoking policy for the kitchen and communal enclosed spaces. There is a drug-free policy – for obvious reasons illegal drugs on site are not tolerated. Anyone violating this will have to leave camp immediately.
If you are bringing dogs please give us notice and please clear up after them.
Rubbish, recycling, cooking, shopping and the running of the camp is the responsibility of everyone who stays there. Please help clear up at the end if you can.
Destroy all numbers / grid references / maps and other such information by fire when you have finished with them. One year we know that the opposition went through the bins post-cull at camp.
Be security aware – the opposition may try and cause trouble: keep calm, film interactions and contact Outpaced. Journalists should not just be allowed on site: discuss with the office / hosts / others present or refer them to the press liaison.
Any requests made by the hosts must be complied with. For example with parking areas. Communal areas are available to all on an equal basis. No group / individual should monopolise communal spaces, unless this has been agreed on with all others on site.
Local services, etc.
Obviously there are numerous supermarkets and local shops about. We’ll try to mention the more difficult-to-find places. Also check out ‘Happy Cow‘ for veggie / vegan options and healthfood shops! Also, please be aware that we are unable to keep up-to-date with every change and if something closes down or is having work done to it, it’s unlikely that we are going to know about it each time.
First, we’ll mention something about petrol stations. Once you’re out in the zones, especially at night, you are going to struggle to find somewhere to fill up. Make sure you have enough petrol / diesel!
Once you’re nearer a bigger town you’re likely to find somewhere, especially during the day, so we’ll just mention a few garages that are either open 24hrs a day (or have ‘pay at pump’ options so that they can be used 24/7) or which are a little more ‘out in the sticks’.
- BP Garage Gloucester (24hrs) – 131 Cheltenham Rd, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2 0JH
- BP Garage Ashleworth (open ’til 10pm) – on the A417 heading south from Staunton / Corse towards Gloucester
- BP Garage Ashchurch (24hrs) – Ashchurch Rd, Tewkesbury GL20 8JN (also has M&S shop, open 24hrs)
- Shell Cheltenham (24hrs) – Princess Elizabeth Way, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 7PA
- Filling Station Cheltenham (24hrs) – Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 9SG
- Kingswood Cheltenham (24hrs) – Evesham Rd, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 8SA
- Murco Coombe Hill (open ’til 9pm) – Tewkesbury Road
Coombe hill, Gloucestershire GL19 4BQ
- Murco Broadway (24hrs) – Station Road, Broadway WR12 7DE
- Meridian Newent (open ’til 8pm) – Gloucester Rd,Newent,GL18 1HP
- Filling Station Highleadon (open ’til 5:30pm Mon – Fri and ’til 12noon Saturday) – B4215, Gloucester GL18 1HG
- Station Road Garage Stow-on-the-Wold (24hrs) – Station Rd, Stow On The Wold GL54 1JU
- Esso Churcham (24hrs) – Bristol Rd, Gloucester GL2 4RQ
- General Garages Huntley (9am – 5pm Mon – Fri) – Main Rd (A40), Huntley GL19 3EA
- Murco Ross-on-Wye (24hrs) – Lea, Ross-On-Wye HR9 7JZ
If you need a hospital, the main A&E Units are at Gloucester Royal Hospital (Great Western Road, Gloucester, GL1 3NN) and Cheltenham General Hospital (Sandford Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7AN). There are also walk-in minor-injuries units in Tewkesbury, Evesham, Cinderford, Stroud, Lydney
Word of Mouth cafe – a dog-friendly cafe in Evesham with many vegetarian and vegan options, hot and cold drinks and super friendly staff
Natural Grocery Store – independent healthfood store in Cheltenham selling a good range of veggie/vegan foods including plenty of snacks!
Greenlink – cafe and small store in Malvern – sometimes you can get vegan scones (!) and tasty soup, or just pick up supplies. Just around the corner from Waitrose where we meet for various training days
The Brantub – also in Malvern the Brantub is an independent healthfood store with a good range of different products from toiletries to chilled foods.
For outdoor gear, boots and ex-Army stuff check out Harper’s Bazaar in Malvern. You’ll also find Blacks, Mountain Warehouse and other campaign shops in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Worcester, etc. There’s also a ‘Go Outdoors’ in Gloucester.
Back to cafes and we have St. Anne’s Well in Malvern again.
Cheltenham also boasts a Wholefoods store on the edge of town, 2 ‘Nutrition Centre’ shops, 1 in town, 1 opposite the Natural Grocery Store on Bath Road and Holland & Barrett in town. Worcester, Stroud, Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Evesham also have H&B.
Over in Newent there is a small healthfood shop called Wyedean Healthfoods who also have a shop in Cinderford. Newent also has the ‘Good News (Christian) Centre‘ who started to make vegan breakfasts and bought in soya milk after we began going there in the first year.