Scottish Badgers - New Scottish Borders Branch
Exactly a year ago I took part in a training weekend with Scottish Badgers down in Lockerbie, to work towards my Level 1 in Badger Surveying. As well as monitoring your own setts, part of the year long training involves going out on group surveys. I was surprised to learn that I had to travel to the central belt to take part in these as there was no branch in the Scottish Borders.
Then Covid hit and all group surveys were cancelled anyway, but it got me thinking. I could sit around and wait for a group to form OR I could go out and form one myself, which is exactly what I did. I contacted Scottish Badgers and spoke to them about the possibility of starting a branch here and they were incredibly enthusiastic about the idea. We had our first group meeting at the end of last month and the group was formed.
The responsibilities of the new branch will be to:
The Scottish Borders has a high density of badgers but is very under recorded, with large areas of the region having no records of setts - even though badgers are definitely there. Not knowing where the badgers are located can make them susceptible to wildlife crime which, sadly, does happen in the region. We cannot protect them if we don't know they're there!
Some of our members are already out surveying their own setts and building up records and we aim to start our group surveys properly in the Spring. Over the coming months, I plan to keep you all updated on the work the branch is doing as well as some general information about badgers and their ecology.
I'm incredibly excited about the branch and we have some really enthusiastic members which is great. It is my hope that we can learn more about and protect the badgers in the region and, most importantly, that we can help others to become as enthusiastic about badgers as we all are.
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