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Weeks 12-13: Sleeplessness & a Sledgehammer

Posted: Tuesday 16th December 2014 by OliFoulds

Badger vaccination, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Final day – last trap on the truck – all done and dusted, Oli Foulds

I got home afterwards and had no idea what day it was or whether I needed breakfast, lunch or tea.

What I did:

  • Worked on the badger vaccinations in Edale
  • Visited a small site with a Wildlife Sites Officer to assess its need for a management plan
  • Went on a visit to part of a Local Wildlife Site to look at the grassland management
  • Went to a potential site for a community engagement project to look at the options for manual work tasks
  • Assisted with a water vole survey
  • Helped to man a DWT stall at a family event in Foremarke

I spent the bulk of this couple of weeks on another round of badger vaccinations – this time in Edale. I thought I was tired after Buxton but this one took sleepiness to a new level. I got home afterwards and had no idea what day it was or whether I needed breakfast, lunch or tea. A wider spread of setts in more difficult places meant that the timing of these vaccinations had to be really tight and not a minute wasted.

To help you picture one of these bizarre but brilliant days, here’s a breakdown (bear in mind the timings won’t be exact because the whole day was a hazy blur – all I’m certain of is it started at 4am and there were badgers):

4:00 am – Get out of tent, get all waterproofs on and walk up a hill into the woods to check three of the traps as soon as there’s enough light to see.

4:30 am – Wait down by the field entrance for the vaccinator to arrive to tell him how many vaccines to prepare.

5:30 am – Head back into woods with vaccinator and volunteers while he vaccinates the three badgers.

6:30 am – Meet the rest of the team back at Badger HQ to debrief and tally up the badgers vaccinated (almost 90% of the traps had a badger in! Those Edale badgers love their peanuts)

7:30 am – Back to the tent for an hour of sleep.

8:30 am – Drive down to Belper for a conservation team meeting.

12:00 pm – Drive to a volunteers house to collect a sledgehammer.

1:00 pm – Realise I’m at the wrong house and drive to the volunteer’s actual house.

1:30 pm – Drive back up to Edale and buy some food.

3:00 pm – Eat that food.

3:30 pm – Set traps and bait.

5:30 pm – Meet team at Badger HQ and run through the plan for the morning.

8:00 pm – Eat.

10:00 pm – Back to the tent to sleep before we do it all again…


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