Now I’m back from the Lake District, I’ve simply had to book another holiday there, so I’ll be going again next spring. I really must try and wean myself away from the place and maybe go to Scotland or Ireland….but I’m addicted to the natural beauty there. It has it all for me, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, forests, babbling brooks….and it still has so many secrets yet to be revealed…..
Image credit: Cumbrian Cottages Lake District Map
For those of you unfamiliar with the Lakes, here’s a map. We always stay in between Grasmere and Ambleside, right next to a thundering waterfall.
Now that we have Sam, we’re discovering so much more wildlife as he has the keenest sense of smell I’ve ever known in a dog. If an animal is close by he goes wild and spins on his lead. That’s how we spotted these deer in the woods, until Sam scented them we had no idea that they were there.
I am always surprised to discover wildlife in the strangest places, like these minnows that live in the shallow waters of this cave….and I wonder, how on earth did they got there in the first place?
Image credit : www.fellscape-walk.co.uk
This is one of my FAVOURITE walks, it takes about three hours and the landscape is breathtaking.
While in the Lakes I spent several evenings watching badgers in a heavily guarded sett, but now I have to worry that these beautiful animals that I’ve watched for many years may soon be culled. They have survived badger baiting and the busy roads nearby so how awful to think that they may now fall foul of the gun.
Sadly, it’s shooting season again here and two culls have taken place over the summer in the West country, with many more being planned for next year.
Given the badger became a protected species in 1973, I find this shocking.
These culls are yet another attempt to tackle bovine T.B in cattle which resulted in 25 thousand cattle being slaughtered last year. They are intended to reduce the badger population by 16 percent which seems odd to me as nobody really knows how many badgers there actually are given they are a shy, nocturnal creature. It’s as though someone has plucked a number out of the air.
Vaccinations are available for badgers, but the government refuses to consider the option of badger protection groups and animal welfare organisations trapping and vaccinating badgers.
Now, I understand the problem of bovine TB but it absolutely baffles me why more time and money is not spent on speeding up the development of an oral cattle vaccine, which is apparently still years away.
We can send probes to distant planets and land men on the moon yet SERIOUSLY we can’t produce a vaccine for the cattle????? Or is it just much cheaper to shoot at wildlife?
Research has shown that this practice of culling has little effect and is cruel. Healthy badgers are killed and injured along with sickly ones, and badgers merely flee the area, potentially spreading the disease even further. There are many images of dying badgers who have only been winged….and have died slowly and painfully. It makes me wonder why there has to be such endless cruelty and suffering in this world?
It has also long been known that some farmers have been illegally gassing badgers, and as the number of badgers killed during these culls is 850 as opposed to the 5 thousand they wanted to kill, now even more farmers are gassing the badgers to up the numbers. Protected species??? Really??? Having said that, many farmers are opposed to culling and gassing badgers and do their best to protect the badgers on their land.
If anyone would like to find out more about the current culls, which have actually been extended for another three weeks, or about protecting badgers, the Badger Protection group is a National organisation that also has regional and local groups…..to find out more go to www.badgerprotectionleague.com/
And finally, a quick sketch I did which I’m using as a guide for a larger watercolour. I hope this isn’t all that I’ll have left to remember these incredible little creatures.