Badgers in Edale

badger, sunlight

When you are out walking in Edale you can expect to see sweeping views, fields of hardy upland sheep and cattle edged by dry stone walls and hawthorn hedgerows, tiny hamlets and farmsteads dotted throughout the valley, alongside the River Noe. Birch, oak and ash woodland creep up the cloughs towards heather and cottongrass clad moors and gritstone crags.

Rich in wildlife, the Edale valley is home to a wide variety of woodland birds, foxes, stoats, rabbits and badgers. The meadows and grasslands are filled with wildflowers throughout the summer months.

Deep in a hidden corner of the Edale valley, a group of experts are actively working to combat a disease which threatens the delicate balance of this special place. Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a serious problem that needs urgent attention and as a major landowner with many farming tenants, we understand how devastating an outbreak of bovine TB can be. The top priority is to stop the spread of the disease between cattle, however, bovine TB in badger populations can cause infections in some cattle herds.

We are working in partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the National Farmers Union (NFU), the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and with National Trust tenant farmers to carry out badger vaccinations. The scheme is focused on Edale and aims to help slow and eventually stop the spread of bovine TB into this area and beyond. The work is funded by Defra under its Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme.

The vaccination programme takes place over the summer and autumn months,with teams of volunteers setting out at dusk and dawn to find the badgers. These volunteers have played a key part in the success of this scheme. More volunteers are needed to help so if you are interested in getting close to wild badgers, are physically fit and are happy to be outdoors in all weather, this could be the perfect volunteering opportunity for you.