Sunday, 20 July 2014

Guest blog - Bruncher Badger

Hi to all you dopey conservationists (no offence ha ha).  My name is Bruncher Badger and I’ve been asked to write a guest blog for Grumpy.  Now you conservationists have been very kind to me, so I thought I would give something back in return.  The way you stood up for me against that despicable Owen Paterson has been a source of great joy for us badgers.  And that Brian May is great also.  I’ve always liked him since I had a sett under the floorboards of the Hammersmith Odeon back in 1972.  Him and his mates had a good little support band.  Not as good as the great Mott the Hoople though!

Anyway, back to the point.  I gather that there were a few gasps of surprise after that footage of me eating my breakfast on Springwatch.  Guess how I got my name – I ‘brunch’ on your baby birds  ha ha brilliant.  Hey, to us, wader chicks are nature’s little biscuits and we love’em.  They are a nice crunchy change to the usual boring old worms.  Even that very nice, clever Mr Packham (didn’t he do well on Malta!) noticed the calorific value of that snack!  Mind you I couldn’t eat more than 30 chicks in a sitting ha ha.  Anyway the point is; what do you expect?   You create excellent concentrations of ground-nesting birds on your nature reserves and then you expect me and my mate Freemeal Foxie to keep away.  Well I’ll tell you; we’ll walk miles to get at these super cafes.  You set up nature reserves around the place and provide food for us.  Lovely.  Don’t you even seem to think about what’s happening when bird numbers begin to decline.  Normally we have to search around for what we can find, but you dumb conservationists concentrate it in one place for us, year after year.  We nip in and out when you’re not looking and polish them off.  We’re not even members  ha ha ha! There’s even one Wildlife Trust site where they kindly guard the Avocets so those nasty men don’t pinch the eggs and then we can come along to munch up those tasty chicks for our breakfast.  We call them Shredded Tweet or Tweetabix  Ha ha  geddit!  And funnier still, you think we can’t swim! Ha ha. Did you see me in my speedo’s at Minsmere?  You lot need to be thinking a lot cleverer about how you manage sites.  Why don't you move birds around by rotational management, turning sites 'on and off' and making it more difficult for us to find all that lovely food?

Anyway, as I said, I’m here to return a favour.  Those dopey ecologists of yours, the ones that you don’t listen to, they know a trick or two to slow us down.  They have a design for an electrified anti-predator fence that keeps us out.  You ask those guys down at Otmoor, we 've never managed to get through their fence. See my photo below.  But even then, when you are given the design, you think you know better and modify it.  You put the offset wire in the wrong place or space the live wires wrongly.  We think it’s hilarious as we skip over the fence.  My mate Freemeal Foxie knows all the tricks for getting over.  

Anyway, you need a combination fence (stock fencing plus live wires) of at least 1.5m, buried into the ground at least 25 cm.  The livestock fencing should be 1.25m high with a 6-8cm wire mesh.  There should be 2 live wires above the fence; at 1.15m and 1.45m, with an earth wire between them at 1.3 m. The fence needs a live wire 65cm up from the ground on the outside and offset by 15 cm.  This stops us jumping up.  Power with battery or mains and take extra care around gates or ditches.   And don't bother with those strand electric fences, they are no good – we just bundle straight through!  This is all a bit simplified but I'm sure you can find more detail.

So there you are, the answer to your problem.  Anyway must go and get a few more Tweetabix while I can.  Those Minsmere guys have already started on a brand new fence.   Then it’s back to worms for us.  I’m fed up with all them bones anyway.

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