WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer badger lovers, who decided to form a non-profit Group on 28th February 2020 to help to protect badgers across the entire 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. It was the worst possible time to do this, given what happened during the rest of the year, but we have still managed to work within the challenging restrictions and monitor, survey, attend RTAs, advise regarding planning applications and numerous other badger-related queries. We are also partners with other local badger groups, as there is always an overlap in badger group boundaries and shared knowledge is extremely valuable in saving time.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways and different levels of how you can get involved in the Group.
• Share photos and videos of your own badgers on our Facebook pages. The more
shares we get, the more the Group is known about and more people can access our
• Support what we are doing by donating. We need equipment but also money needs to
be set aside for vet fees and the running costs of the group. Every donation is greatly
welcomed, no matter how little, or large. We can’t do this without your help.
• Monitor your own sett, you know what your sett ‘normal’ is and if you see something has
changed, you can report back to us and we will come out to check your sett. You will be
shown how to do this and what to look out for. Then you can post your photos and videos
(locations kept confidential of course) about what your lovely badgers have been up to.
We can never have enough of these to make us smile!
• Report every new sett sighting, every RTA and every incidence of a suspected crime
against the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Using What3Words, or grid references, you
can report these both to us but, more importantly, to The Badger Trust, who are the only
organisation collecting this valuable data. The Badger Trust website
www.badgertrust.org.uk has three buttons at the top of the home page to report what you
have seen. In the case of a suspected wildlife crime, please see below. *
• Volunteer as a hands-on member of the Group. You will receive training (current
restrictions permitting) and be involved in a variety of different jobs involving our stripey
friends. Our Volunteer Coordinator will discuss this with you further when you apply. We
ask every volunteer to read our Constitution and read and sign our Code of Conduct.
ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS (RTA)
Most people will have never seen a live badger but many will have seen a dead badger at the
side of the road. The first thing to do is to check that the badger is actually dead first. If it is
beyond doubt that this is the case, then you have a few choices. You can leave it where it is and
phone the local council to report it and ask for it to be removed. This is where What3Words
comes in useful and makes identifying the exact location really accurate. You could also remove
the body and either bury it, or place it under shrubbery, or somewhere else out of sight. The
badger will then fulfil it’s full life cycle of sustaining new insects and mammals in the circle of
nature. There is no definite choice here, only the choice that makes you comfortable with what
you have to do. Badgers will begin mating in January and males will make longer journeys,
crossing roads to find females and inevitably coming into conflict with traffic.
This is an emergency and you will need to contact us quickly, or the phone the RSPCA. Never try to pick up, or move an injured badger, they have formidable jaws that can cause serious injuries. We have the right equipment to enable us to safely cage the badger and take it to either a Rescue Centre, or a vet for treatment.
SUSPECTED BADGER CRIME*
Badger sett digging and baiting has been with us since medieval times and, sadly, is still common today. If you are unsure what the Act includes, please find it in the Resources Section of the website. If you find a sett that looks like it has been dug out, or disturbed and nobody is present, please phone 101 and report it as a Wildlife Crime and get a Crime Log number so it can be investigated. If you see people actually on or near a sett and are worried, please retreat to a safe place and ring 999 to report an ongoing Wildlife Crime. You will be given a Crime Log number, which you can forward to us and we will log it with The Badger Trust Wildlife Office, so they can liaise with the Police. We take these crimes extremely seriously and do our best to get a conviction.
Unfortunately, Greater Manchester doesn’t have a dedicated Wildlife Crime Unit, unlike other surrounding areas. Unless we log every Wildlife Crime and prove that such a Unit is needed, nothing may happen to help us get the right assistance we desperately need.
We attended a trapped badger cub earlier this year and thankfully were able to capture and release it immediately. Every badger has the potential to cause serious injuries, so never try to do it yourself, call us out and we’ll get there asap.
Badgers are creatures of habit and many regularly visit gardens for years and years without causing much damage to borders and lawns. Last year we had several phone calls to the effect that badgers were digging up the householder’s lawn and what could we do. The problem in most cases turned out to be cockchafer grubs underneath the roots of the grass. The weather conditions were perfect to encourage the chafer beetles to breed more successfully and, hey presto, lawns became infested with these high protein, high fat grubs that appeared just at the right time for the badgers to begin piling on the pounds for the winter months. The chafer grubs ate the roots of the lawn from below, the badgers (and foxes, and hedgehogs) ate the lawn from above. The lawn stood no chance between this two-pronged attack. We were able to advise a natural way of dealing with the grubs, a nematode treatment that was non-chemical but by the time the poor residents noticed the damage, it was too late. At one job we were called out to, we were able to clear badgers of any responsibility for the damage by putting trail cameras down to
capture the culprits. Foxes and hedgehogs took the rap this time!
GENERAL ADVICE AND INFORMATION
We have created a resource section on the website where you should be able to find a starting place for your query. If you can’t find the help you need, or need further advice, please contact us and we will be happy to help. If we visit, we do ask for a small donation to cover the cost of fuel but are willing to discuss this with you. Every situation is different and everyone has different circumstances.