Some stuff we have learnt over the last 5 years.
1. Sett surveying and checking is the cornerstone of all badger protection
2. Local people will bring in more local people, they will have lots of key information, they will be a constant presence for years to come
3. Local people who are already active in wildlife protection e.g. local sab / badger groups should not be ignored by those wanting to set up new groups. This will only lead to future problems
4. No one has precise information concerning the boundaries of cull zones. Badgers have been killed outside such boundaries so an open mind is essential as is gut feeling. NEVER be overconfident
5. Cullers cross different zones especially if those zones are contiguous. It is vital that vehicle reg numbers are shared across zones. Documents relating to a new Dorset zone state that landowners themselves are being encouraged to do their own shooting OR nominate someone else to do so if they can’t – therefore someone may be nominated by more than one landowner in more than one zone
6. Badgers are killed all year round and across the UK. Our response in protecting badgers should reflect that
7. It matters not if you came into thwarting the cull from being a hunt sab, a wildlife photographer or a member of the Badger Trust. As long as someone is doing what they can to save badgers this matters not and certainly should not form the basis of any hierarchy. It matters not who makes a cage safe as long as it is done
8. We are all diverse and diversity of tactics and organisational structures is a way to include as many as possible. There needs to be something for those who like direction and leaders and something for those who want to do their own thing, something for the very fit and something for those who cannot walk etc.
9. Those who want to have a right to say how they operate and where they go. We are all out there in tough conditions and expect to make our own decisions. Lack of inclusivity causes people to either leave or form their own plans without communication taking place
10. Office phones are better on contract / with solid monthly bundles as it’s cheaper and the same number used year after year. The office phone needs to be contactable all year round
11. With roll out increasing this may be time to create structures at county level to coordinate badger protection with as independent and autonomous groups being run by those who wish to protect badgers in various localities. This will normally be those who live / work / have family in certain areas but some people wish to operate away from where they live. Others wish to have a regular change of scenery. As long as people communicate, it matters not