Badgers in the Landscape â€“ Community Building for Wildlife Conservation wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
Badgers in the Landscape – Community Building for Wildlife Conservation wins Heritage Lottery Fund support
Scottish Badgers, the Scottish charity protecting and conserving badgers in Scotland, has received £66,000 from HLF towards a £100,000 three year project based in South Lanarkshire, running from 2016 until 2019. Today it announces the appointment of a Project Officer, to take up post on April 1st.
Badgers, our largest surviving native carnivore in the U.K., are not an endangered species, but are subject to increasing persecution. This is in two forms, the deliberate use for baiting by dogs, and the mainly unintended consequences of daily work by farmers, foresters and developers, which can damage badger setts.
Work over past years by Scottish Badgers has proved that the strongest and most sustainable solution is to gain the involvement of local communities, which require information, training, and citizen participation.
Description of the project
The project will engage interested members of the public by local recruitment, using newspapers, word of mouth, and professionals such as Countryside Rangers. Engagement will take the form of talks, demonstrations, practical sessions, Bio-Blitzes, and children’s events. Local people can come and offer their time from a half day, up to much longer periods of volunteering. We hope that many will be inspired to take up further training opportunities in skills such as badger sett surveying, badger signs recognition, and leading others in the countryside.
Badgers are a common mammal in Scotland, but rarely seen by most members of the public, as they are nocturnal and quite secretive. Badgers live in large family groups (or ‘clans’), and they are especially susceptible to persecution as they live in stable communities of animals, in large ‘setts’, a collection of underground tunnels and chambers, with often many entrances. The animals are omnivorous, that is their diet is very varied, but their favourite food is earthworms. It is possible to watch badgers at night time by taking great care, and avoiding human disturbance.
Commenting on the award, Eddie Palmer, the Chairman said:
We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and confident the project will support many of South Lanarkshire’s people in interesting, useful, and exciting activities.
Elaine Rainey, the Project Officer, commented:
South Lanarkshire is a region with historically high levels of wildlife crime yet many people we speak to in the area are unaware of the diversity of wildlife on their doorstep. We are looking forward to engaging with people of all ages within South Lanarkshire to offer them a variety of opportunities to connect with, and protect, their local wildlife. There really will be something for everyone!
Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said:
Our natural heritage is a most precious resource and, thanks to National Lottery players, HLF grants have helped to protect an amazing range of landscapes, habitats, and species of plants and animals. HLF is delighted to support Badgers in the Landscape – Community Building for Wildlife Conservation, that will stimulate people’s interest in this animal and so help them conserve it for future generations.
For further information, images and interviews, please contact Elaine Rainey - firstname.lastname@example.org