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Badgerlands: The Twilight World of…
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Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal (edição 2014)

por Patrick Barkham (Autor)

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454439,901 (3.64)4
Britain is the home of the badger - there are more badgers per square kilometre in this country than in any other. And yet many of us have never seen one alive and in the wild. They are nocturnal creatures who vanish into their labyrinthine underground setts at the first hint of a human. Here, Patrick Barkham follows in the footsteps of his badger-loving grandmother, to meet the feeders, farmers and scientists who know their way around Badgerlands: the mysterious world in which these distinctively striped creatures snuffle, dig and live out their complex social lives.… (mais)
Membro:rossarn
Título:Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal
Autores:Patrick Barkham (Autor)
Informação:Granta (2014), 400 pages
Colecções:Para ler
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Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal por Patrick Barkham

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An entertaining and accessible, if at sometimes somewhat rambling, exploration of the complicated attitudes to the badger in the United Kingdom. More balanced and nuanced than one might expect, and even though the author's love for the subject of his book is obvious he never cross the live over to excessive sentimentality . ( )
  Jannes | Jan 28, 2021 |
The Badger is one of the UKs largest native mammals, and it is also an animal that people have early seen because of its nocturnal habit. The most common sighting is a twisted corpse alongside a road. bark ham has never set eyes on a live one and the book starts by him visiting a couple of setts at night with the hope of glimpsing one of these enigmatic creatures. He fails.

He meet with people who are badger feeders, and finally gets his sighting of a real badger in a back garden. These people care deeply for these animals, though opinion is divided as to whether they are helping the population or not. Whilst he is please he has seen these unique creatures, he still hasn't seen them in their natural habitat. He visits a rescue centre too, and sees people carrying on the work of campaigning and care for badgers. His grandmother, Jane Ratcliffe, had done this back in the seventies, and even wrote several books published too, including, Through the Badger Gate.

The badger is a political animal these days as is is blamed by the farming community for spreading bovine TB. Barkham meets people on both sides of the farm gate, and considers the evidence for and against. It is a complex subject, and the recent cull in the West Country has not proven one way or the other if it is working or not.

There is a chapter on the baiting of badgers, a 'sport' if you can uses that word for such horrible event, of setting dogs onto them. It has always been a working class thing, and sadly still takes place today, though much less frequently. He considers the badger in literature; i thought that this was the weakest part of the book.

With his new twins he moves from London out to Norfolk, a place not normally associated with badgers as it is too damp and low lying, but when wandering around he notices the signs of a sett and one evening sees a family of badgers.

A book well worth reading for those that want to understand more about these animals. Barkham writes in an accessible, engaging style and it makes for an enjoyable read.

( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Not 5 stars because the book seems around fifty pages too long. The same ground covered in perhaps too much detail and with certainly too much repetition. But a very interesting read. ( )
  adrianburke | Apr 29, 2018 |
A somewhat rambling account split in to several discreet chapters., about the author's attempts to get to know one of the most introverted UK animals, the badger. However it always revolves around the central premise that has brought the badger to public attention in recent years - Bovine TB, and the government's action to locally cull badgers to attempt to reduce infection rates. It is very much not an independent account, as much as Patrick initially attempted to provide one, it is instead a personal account, of places visited, people met and encounters with badgers along the way.

Like most of hte UK population Patrick hadn't seen a badger in the wild. They are not hard to see in the right circumstances, and are even frequently urbanised. But they are not flashy, and hide surprisingly well for such a large preeminently coloured animal. Patrick discusses some of the history of badgers in the UK, their rise and fall with agriculture providing a feast of opportunity and the heightened perils of baiting. Much of the cultural influence of badger comes from a few key works, none more so perhaps than Mr Badger in Wind in the Willows. But always the issue of bovine TB lurks in the background. From scientists who are studying badgers, to enthusiasts who attempt to feed them on their lawns, to farmers who have to live with them. The people in the book shine - Patrick has spent a lot of time capturing the essence of very private people enjoying their hobby. Something is hard to do sympathetically, but is well managed. The farmers proves to be more reluctant to speak to him, and so that side of the story is less expounded upon. The end though is fairly damming indictment on what was already a travesty. Patrick concludes pretty forthrightly that there is no way that the cull as attempted and trialed would ever achieve anything that it attempted to do so, and ended up wildly over budget, without much improving the lot of the farmers or the cows. BUT he also agrees that the situation as is cannot continue.

Rambling, it is of interest only to those UK readers already familiar with the issues and the countryside, but it's an interesting story none-the-less as any detailed account of such a personal journey should be. ( )
1 vote reading_fox | Nov 21, 2015 |
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Britain is the home of the badger - there are more badgers per square kilometre in this country than in any other. And yet many of us have never seen one alive and in the wild. They are nocturnal creatures who vanish into their labyrinthine underground setts at the first hint of a human. Here, Patrick Barkham follows in the footsteps of his badger-loving grandmother, to meet the feeders, farmers and scientists who know their way around Badgerlands: the mysterious world in which these distinctively striped creatures snuffle, dig and live out their complex social lives.

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