03 December, 2016

Badgerlands : the twilight world of Britain's most enigmatic animal by Patrick Barkham

The badger is an unmistakable beast, with its low, solid form and distinctive facial stripes, given that, it is amazing how little people know about British native.  This book seeks to remedy this lack of knowledge in a highly readable form.                                                    In the past badgers were 'baited' that is hunted for sport.  It was a pastime for the lower classes and to my eyes uncomfortably brutal.                                             Children's fiction  portrays them as wise, solid characters, advisers rather than actors.  "The wind in the willows" was the first book to portray badgers in this favorable light and thus initiate a change how badgers are viewed.                                                       There are now a growing number of people who feed and encourage badgers, getting great joy out of seeing these shy nocturnal animals. Badger numbers are increasing; there are now urban badgers, modern drainage in farms enables badgers to dig setts that will remain dry, and of course badger baiting is now illegal.  All is not rosy in the badger world though, they are carriers of T.B.  Many farmers see them as hazards to the health of their cattle and wish for a cull.  Other voices call for different measures to minimize the spread of T.B.  All have valid arguments clearly presented here.                                                                                                                    In the interests of gaining a complete picture of badgers Patrick even eats one! (roadkill)

Title: Badgerlands : the twilight world of Britain's most enigmatic animal
Author: Patrick Barkham

Reviewed by Christine O.
Christine has worked in libraries on the North Shore for over 20 years.  She likes her fiction to be believable and her non-fiction to be accessible

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