All about Leicestershire and Rutland Badger Group
How it all began.
A Badger Act was passed in 1973 that gave badgers some protection against persecution. However, in 1984 members of the Leicestershire and Rutland Trust for Nature were worried by the increases in the illegal hounding of Leicestershire's badgers.
They discussed this at their AGM and decided to investigate having a county badger group. They appointed a steering commitee and their advice resulted in the formation of the Leicestershire Badger Group.
In March 1985, Gareth Dalglish of the Nature Conservancy Council published the new group's first Newsletter. Bill Cunnington, a member of the new badger group wrote many of the later newsletters. Moreover, he worked tirelessly to protect badgers all his life.
The National Federation of Badger Groups was formed in January 1986 and changed its name to "Badger Trust" in 2005. Our group has always taken a very active role in supporting the national body.
The first change to the constitution was in 2013 when we became "The Leicestershire and Rutland Badger Group". It was revised again in late 2021 to include changes needed because of the Covid epidemic. We also gave the names of the organisations we worked with such as "The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust", to which we are affiliated and "The Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital."
What we do
Members of the badger group are sometimes called to help with injured badgers or badger cubs who are without their mother. When an injured badger has recovered it is taken to the spot where it was found and it will follow the scent trail that leads back to its sett.
Rehoming a badger cub takes a much longer time. A very young cub needs feeds throughout the day and night. When it is stronger it can be introduced to other orphans of a similar age. They all need to have been tested three times to show that they are not carrying bovine tuberculosis.
This year Sara, a member of our badger group, drove with her daughter and an orphaned cub from Leicestershire, to a rescue centre in Shropshire. This was to ensure that, when the youngster was strong enough, it could mix with other cubs there. When the youngsters are old enough to start to fend for themselves they will be released as a group into an artificial sett. Some food will be left for them at first, but it will be gradually decreased so that they become independent.