Somerset Against the Badger Cull - April 2016
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Spring is a busy time in the natural world and it's been a busy time in ours too as you'll see from this newsletter!

In this newsletter

Badger Bonanza!

Once again we set up our stall at this year's Badger Bonanza at Secret World Wildlife Rescue.  We had lovely weather on the Friday but sadly the March winds really did their worst during the following days.
We arrived on the Saturday morning to find the gazebo totally destroyed so we moved inside.  Our location was not ideal being right next to the exit, but we still met visitors of all ages and species!  Our stall this year had a distinctly carroty theme that included guess the number of carrots in a sack and a large 'carrot of shame' cutout for people to take photos with.  We also had a lot of people, and a few dogs, taking selfies declaring that they are against the cull.  Sadly the final day, Monday, had to be cancelled completely due to the continuing bad weather, but despite this, we had a great time meeting everyone and had a lot of fun.  A few snaps from the event are below but you can also view our Facebook photo album.

Badger cull protestors' legal right to information upheld

Written by Lesley Docksey for The Ecologist

Since December 2011, when it became clear that the government was intent on its badger cull, Defra and Natural England have been flooded with FOI requests about how the culls would be set up, conducted and monitored. The notable success of Anna Dale in cutting through official obfuscation has implications for everyone trying to
protect the environment and wildlife.  Many Freedom of Information (FOI) requests are refused on various grounds.

Disheartened, many people do not persevere. Anna Dale did. After a lengthy battle she succeeded in getting the information she wanted, after she and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) went to court.  Anna won, and now we know - the public has the right to far more information on the environment than the authorities are willing to disclose. 

You can read Lesley's full article or view a summary of the judgment on our website.

*We are currently experiencing technical issues with our website at present so if you cannnot read the articles please try again in a week or two.

How's your map reading?

Map reading is such a useful skill, whether you use it to simply enjoy a walk in a new area or whether you want to get involved with sett surveying and checking.  With the possible roll out of the cull this year the more people who can map read the better.  If you've never tried it before you may be surprised to discover that it's not as difficult as you may imagine.  Ordnance Survey has put together a series of short videos featuring Steve Backshall to help you get started. We've linked to the first in the series below for you.  Once you're familiar with the basics you might like to have a look at this free ebook that comes in the form of a PDF and is suitable for novices or experts.
Steve Backshall explains how to select the map that's right for you

Somerset Badger Group launches its brand new web site

Somerset Badger Group has recently launched its brand new website that's full of information from badger ecology, living with badgers, how to get help for a badger that needs it and how to get involved with the group.  
Don't forget that the group operates a 24 hour helpline so add 07850 604 585 to your contacts list as you never know when you might need it.

Diamond Dave the badger cub

Many of us have been following the story of Diamond Dave the badger cub rescued by Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre.  So for Dave's fans here's a little update on how he's getting on.
Dave's doing well thanks to the staff and volunteers at Secret World

Your chance to find out the facts about the badger cull from leading independent experts

As a member of our mailing list, you probably already know a lot about the issues surrounding the badger cull, but even so either you or your family and friends may be interested in two presentation evenings that our friends down in Devon and Cornwall have arranged.  They're a fantastic opportunity to hear from leading independent experts.  Both will feature presentations from Dr Chris Cheeseman and Dr Mark Jones.  The second evening in Tiverton will also include Hugh Warwick who is an expert on hedgehogs.
The first evening is Tuesday 26 April in Kingsbridge and the second is Tuesday 10 May in Tiverton.

Houston, we have a problem!

You may have noticed that we are currently experiencing a technical issue with our website.  This is due to a third party hosting problem.  We are in the process of finding a new host and migrating the site.  Normal service should hopefully be resumed shortly.

Forthcoming events

There's a few events coming up shortly that you may be interested in digging out your boots for!  
Devon and Cornwall Against the Badger Cull will be holding two presentation evenings with leading independent experts.  The first will be held on Tuesday 26 April at Kingsbridge Community College, Balkwill Road, Kingsbridge, TQ7 1PL.  
The second will be held on Tuesday 10 May at Old Heathcoat School Community Centre, 81 King Street, Tiverton, EX16 5JJ.  Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.

A training day is being arranged by Gloucestershire Against Badger Shooting on 14 May and we also plan to hold a training or social event to meet and welcome new faces.  Full details will be published in due course.

Beaks and Squeaks 2016 at Secret World Wildlife Rescue is to be held 28 - 30 May 2016.

Groups and sites we like!

We're sure you will too so why not check them out?

Somerset Badger Patrol
Somerset Badger Group
Secret World Wildlife Rescue
Badger Trust
Team Badger
Vets and Vet Nurses Against the Badger Cull

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Somerset Against The Badger Cull · c/o SBP · Somerset, TA · United Kingdom

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