A Badger's Tale

Photograph of a badger
Chris Packham supports release of new wildlife crime novel illustrated by 13-16-year-olds.


Naturewatch Foundation is proud to have sponsored the publication of a wildlife crime novel as part of their longstanding campaign to end badger baiting.

A Badger’s Tale’ celebrates the value of the badger to the British countryside and also raises questions about what happens to it at the hands of humans..

Chris Packham, TV presenter and author, was delighted to judge a children’s illustration competition to select a series of fantastic images that feature throughout the book written by author and artist Geoff Francis, supported by No More Dodos.

Pertinent tale

Chris says: “Badgers are a natural treasure that I have enjoyed studying, photographing and filming over many years. I have learned that they are not only fascinating and engaging but also an essential component of the UK’s ecosystems – our largest remaining land carnivore.”

The wildlife crime mystery novel is a challenging story about a rejected young boy who finds sanctuary and purpose with a clan of badgers, only to find it threatened by a gang of hunters.

Alongside a pertinent tale, the story includes additional information to educate teenagers on the natural history of the badger, illegal persecution, law that protects them, and aims to recruit help and understanding among younger people.

The wellbeing and survival of badgers lie in the hands of the younger generation – the next carers of our countryside.

Wildlife crimes

Naturewatch Foundation is committed to bringing an end to badger baiting, sett digging, illegal lamping, killing and other acts of cruelty towards badgers involving the use of dogs.

In 2017, almost 1300 wildlife crime incidents were recorded by NGOs, according to the second annual Wildlife Crime Report that was co-ordinated by Wildlife and Countryside Link, and Wales Environment Link.

Incidents in relation to badgers accounted for 58 percent of this figure with sett interference and badger baiting being the most prevalent.

It is believed that this is just the tip of the iceberg as most wildlife crimes are not officially recorded through the Home Office crime recording system.

Also, many wildlife crimes go unreported as they occur in the cover of the countryside.

Illegal persecution

Andrew Swinburne, Naturewatch Foundation Animal Crime Manager, said: “The illegal persecution of badgers remains a UK Wildlife Crime Priority due to the sheer volume of crime against badgers, which includes the sadistic pastime of badger baiting.

"We are pleased to be working with other leading animal welfare organisations and the Police to combat this crime and safeguard the badger for future generations to admire and enjoy.

"‘A Badger’s Tale’ is an excellent book looking into the world of badgers and the persecution they face from criminals. It has been a pleasure to have worked alongside Chris with the illustration competition and Geoff and his charity ‘No More Dodos’.”

This Article 

This article is based on a press release from Naturewatch. 

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