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Welcome to the Essex Badger Protection Group

The Essex Badger Protection Group is made up of a group of voluntary members throughout Essex whose common interest is the protection of badgers.

We work in close co-operation with the local police and carry out regular patrols to monitor badger setts.

Other activities include conducting area surveys of the badgers' habitat when threatened by highway and building projects, the rehabilitation of sick and injured badgers and giving advice regarding badgers in gardens.

Don Hunford: 1925 - 2018

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing away of our dear member and friend Don Hunford. He was one of the most knowledgeable people in the UK on badgers and will be greatly missed.

Donald Anthony John Hunford
1925 - 2018

Don Hunford was Born 19th May, 1925 in Essex. He later moved to the Cotswolds, where he taught maths and physics in a school near Cirencester.

He started watching badgers back in the 1950s whilst teaching in Gloucestershire and was inspired by one of the first badger enthusiasts Ernest Neal. He gained a tremendous knowledge of badgers, based on years of careful study and observation.

His work brought him back to Essex in 1954, and it was at this time he started surveying Essex badger setts.

He deliberately chose to live at his house in Thundersley because he knew that the surrounding woods held badgers. It was there he set up a hide so that he could observe the badgers at close quarters and kept detailed records about them. He became very close to his badgers and gave all of them names and was able to identify each one by sight. They would follow him around his woodlands up to his house and he often fed them straight from his hands. Regularly he would invite other badger enthusiasts around to observe the badgers from his hide. These were always magical evenings where you would often see as many as fourteen, or maybe even more, badgers playing and feeding together next to the hide sometimes very early in the evening in broad daylight.

Over the years Don has travelled around many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, India & Peru, to study badgers and other wildlife.

In 1959 he became a founder member of the Essex Wildlife Trust. He remained a director there until he resigned in 2004.

Don went on to become one of the UK’s most respected badger experts. He has featured on television programmes about badgers, including Springwatch and the Badger Night Live broadcasts in 2009.

In 2015 he gave a highly moving speech at the Badger Trust Conference. This was possibly his last ever public speech.

Sadly Don lost his sister in 2016. This affected him badly and led to his deterioration in health the following year.

In January 2018 he had a bad fall at home and was taken to Southend University Hospital. Fortunately, his injuries were not too severe with mainly bruising to his back, but this was not a good thing to have happen at his advanced age. He was later moved to Stafford Hall Nursing Home, which is not far from his home in Benfleet where he was well looked after.

On his birthday on the 19th May, 2018 he had another bad fall in the nursing home. Unfortunately the fall left him with a fractured pelvis. He returned back to the Stafford Hall Nursing Home for a short time but soon his health deteriorated and on the 3rd August, 2018 he was admitted back to Southend University Hospital where he passed away peacefully the same morning at the age of 93 years.

~~~ RIP Don ~~~

Starting The Year With A Win For Badgers

In January there was a victory in the courts in that Natural England has lost their appeal to withhold information about the wider ecological impacts of badger culling. This is something we can thank the ecologist Tom Langton for after Natural England refused to supply him with all the details he requested to properly assess the damage badger culling may cause to wildlife. Please follow this link, Tribunal Press Release to see the press release from The Badger Crowd, which is a group that has been set up to help Tom fight his case and put a stop to the badger cull.

Last year Tom made a number of Judicial Review applications which challenge the lawfulness of the process behind approvals of ‘supplementary badger culling’. He has since had these applications granted and listed for a three-day High Court Hearing. In order for this hearing to stand any chance of being successful, funding of around £15,000 is needed to help cover immediate legal costs plus a further £40,000+ is estimated to be needed to cover future legal costs. There are some online fundraising pages that have been set up where people can donate to help raise the money. These can be found at the following links:

It is important that sufficient funds are made available to allow these hearings to be fully carried through with the best legal support possible as a win will have serious implications on the future of the badger cull. Donating to this cause gives us one of the greatest chances to date of ending the Government's ill thought out and cruel badger culling policy. This is a policy which has absolutely no scientific evidence to support that it is achieving its goal of reducing bovine tuberculosis in cattle.  If the policy is carried through it will be a major threat to the future of one of this country's most iconic and much loved land mammals.

Here is link to a message from The Badger Crowd which gives an update on the legal challenge and status of their funding Badger Crowd Update 3rd March, 2018.

Help Us Give Badgers a Brake

The Badger Trust launched its new “Give Badgers a Brake” campaign during National Badger Week to raise awareness of the dangers that badgers face on our roads”.

Every year an alarming 50,000 badgers are killed on roads in the UK. As our road network becomes bigger and busier, the risk to badgers and other wildlife becomes greater. This campaign not only raises awareness of this problem but also provides advice on what can be done to help make our roads safer for all wildlife.

Together with the Badger Trust, our Groups Patron, Mike Dilger, has helped produce a video which highlights the dangers badgers face on our roads and show what can be done to try and protect them from this increasing danger.

To find out more, visit the Badger Trust Website or their Facebook and Twitter pages #GiveUsABrake

Our Next Events

  • Sunday, 9. September 2018 - 11:00 to 16:00

    Come and meet us at the Mill Meadows Fayre. This is a celebration of the heritage of Mill Meadows. Music, historic characters, a recital by renowned local poet Jacques Botjer, music from Folk Down Left and Heads Up, refreshments, beer from Billericay Brewing Company, face painting, build a model windmill and many side-stalls selling local produce including cheese, jam, honey, ice cream.


    Wantsfield, Mill Meadows, Southend Road

    Visit the Mill Meadows website at for full directions on how to get there.


  • Saturday, 6. October 2018 - 10:00 to 17:00

    Come and join us to celebrate National Badger Day at the Hanningfield Reservoir Visitors Centre.

    Hanningfield Reservoir Visitor Centre
    Hawkswood Road, Downham
    CM11 1WT

    Map reference: TQ 725 971


Contact Us:

  • Tel: 07341 944567
           07341 944568

  • eMail:

Patron: Mike Dilger
(Natural History Presenter)

The Essex Badger Protection Group
is affiliated to The Badger Trust

Registered charity No. 1111440

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