Saving Brentwood’s badgers

The group recently released the orphaned cubs of this year back into the wild. Picture: Essex Badger

The group recently released the orphaned cubs of this year back into the wild. Picture: Essex Badger Protection Group - Credit: Essex Badger Protection Group

A period of bliss for Brentwood badgers is coming to an end, say badger protection group.

Essex Badger Protection group are finding more badgers in distress again after a period of solace through lockdown as people returns to their active lives.

As property development resumes and plans for greenbelt construction advances, their habitats are becoming more under threat.

“They were a lot safer beginning of the lockdown, certainly that gave them a chance of good survival. Since then, we’ve started getting a lot road traffic accident” says Chris Teeder, the group’s chairman, an IT consultant who originally got involved with the badger group after finding a badger set in his garden.

The group, made up of 100 volunteers, do surveys of badger sets keep records of those under threat from development in Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Soutend, Thurrock and east Havering.

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“We get calls from people who have concerns about badgers sets and badgers, it varies from holes being dug in gardens to reports of badgers sets being attacked by people,” said the chairmain,

Equipped to safely transport badgers when trapped or injured, they often passon any more seriously injured badgers to South Essex Wildlife hospital in Orsett.

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Every year, the group find a certain amount of badger cubs that are separated from their sets come spring time, found by the badger group, they then get raised at the wildlife hospital for around six to eight months.

In October, the group saw five of the cubs they rescued in spring released back in to the wild by Essex Wildlife Hospital, “the most rewarding event of the year,” said Chris.

Aside from traffic and development, badgers also face threats from culling. It’s believed they spread TB infecting cattle, but the badger group refuses this saying “it lacks any kind of scientific evidence.”

Thankfully, Essex is not currently is the badger-culling plan

Chris said: “I do support vaccinating badgers though, we need to concentrate on biosecurity in farming and also push towards vaccination programmes for cattle.”

The group also provides advice to residents about what’s best to do when coming across badger sets and also campaign for councils to better understand how to preserve their habitats which are constantly under threat. n

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