Before those of you dreaming of the rural idyll, up sticks from your comfort zone of London and the S East, consider the experience we had here yesterday.
We live a mile down a no through road and then 3 more miles to a decent A road. Part way along that windy country lane leading to the A road we found a wheelie bin. Nothing odd you might think except we don’t HAVE wheelie bins here and it was half a mile from the nearest property, isolated on a road verge surrounded by fields. It has been there a few days but yesterday, someone or something had knocked it over and the lid had come open.
Inside was a collection of dead badgers and dead pheasants.
This is not the first time we have had barbaric “offerings” in this area. There was the collection of deer head and legs in a dustbin bag left with our and our neighbours’ piles of rubbish for our local bin men, and, a little before, a dead badger strung up from a telegraph pole.
There is an element of barbarism and brutality in all this which sickens and frightens me. Poaching and badger killing is illegal. Poaching makes good money for some and badgers are fair game to those who can’t cope with the maddening lack of solutions to the bTB problem. I am just as worried as the next person by bTB. Goats are vulnerable to it and we have dozens of badgers on our land. But this kind of gesture-driven behaviour does nothing to solve the problem or improve the image of the farmer – already seen as some sort of old-fashioned, ignorant peasant paid too much by the EU to keep animals badly. Clearly there ARE some like that but the majority of livestock farmers I know are NOT and would be just as disgusted by this exhibitionism as I am.
Remember this when you move to the country. The old ways abide as you might say and you had better be prepared for similar if you move to any but the most sanitised and incomer-flooded countryside.