I’ve been badger watching most of my life, for almost 20 years at ‘my’ two setts in Fife, and one near Lancaster for 7 years or so. I adore them. I don’t want to write about the current cull, suffice to say it makes me feel extremely sad. For those of you who may be interested a comprehensive report on Bovine TB published in 2007 by independent scientists can be read here: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/isg/report/final_report.pdf
Anyhow, I watched a group from a hide in Speyside last week, and had a go at drawing them. I’ve never watched them from a hide before or tried to draw them, I’m normally too engrossed in watching them, and I don’t want to attract attention to myself or frighten them by rustling paper. It’s also usually dark! So it felt like a real privilege to be able to see them so clearly, these animals that I feel I know quite well, yet had never seen so clearly. Their fur was amazing up close, the second time we visited the hide they were all soaking wet and their brindled hair was all ridged and spiky.
Although members of the mustelid (weasel) family they are incredibly bear like in their posture and gait.
I’ve also included here a drawing of the badger sett near Lancaster. I last visited the family here in September, on a beautiful warm night with a full moon. I got there well before dusk and lay on the ground drawing the trees before the badgers came out.