Do bare in mind I am disabled!!!!
I arrived and was met by Drew Pratten who was looking after me for the night. It is quite nerve wrecking turning up somewhere you do not know anyone and not quite sure what happens. Anyway, we went to a meeting first where everyone was most welcoming. There were single people...men and women, showing up for the 1st time and not really knowing what to do or what to expect. It really was very welcoming and relaxed. The police even showed up to say hello ( really they were there to check out Drew had fixed his number plate and how many of us where out) . Everyone had instructions on where to go and what to do. It was so well organized. Some people just sit in cars and watch setts and if there is any sign of a problem they call the mobile units! The police did sort of block us in for a bit and there friendliness seemed a little...no a lot of fake niceties. Everyone left for their setts and I waited with Drew. The silence was a bit uneasy ( as Drew is so hard to be around). No the silence was weird just waiting...and then we heard what sounded like gunshot. It was quite a sickly feeling suddenly realising the reality is right there, that some poor badger could be bleeding to death and some t**t with a gun was out there killing "OUR" wildlife for no reason whatsoever. The phone started to ring...2 shooters spotted in a field. Now we are not allowed on the farmers land and of course we would not do anything unlawful. The mobile units surrounded the field, we (me included) used torches and noise to let the shooters know we were there...they are not supposed to shoot if they know people are in the area. We went around the outside of the field and we were all shining torches and we played them some Nivana very loudly, this will have also scared the badgers back into their setts... and we did it...the shooters buggered off! We then had a call asking us if we could pick up Bill Oddie as he has been out with Wounded Badger Patrol and now wanted to get out into the field. Unfortunately, knowing there were shooters in the area we could not leave our post. We spent the rest of the night patrolling and checking setts. We went round checking with all the sett sitters and I was introduced to loads of amazing people who spend night after night protecting these wonderful animals. Then a around 1am a call came in...food was served!!! It was amazing, a couple has made 2 varieties of soup and homemade bread and where driving around all set sitters and feeding them.
I left around 2am and got home around 4am.
I have to say, whatever your impression is of animal rescuers/rights/sabs, what they are NOT is hardline hardnosed weirdoes...they are lovely normal everyday people of all ages and all back grounds. They are more organized than the contract shooters & than the police, They are planned, precise & effective.
Last word GET INVOLVED! IT IS YOUR COUNTRYSIDE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
Thanks Drew you were a star, and thanks to all the SABS that made me so welcome and for doing what you do.