The Gwent Badger Group
About the Group
The Group was founded in 1974 and since then has continued to campaign, conserve and rescue badgers across the County.
The Group operates in the Local Authority areas of Caerphilly, Torfaen, Newport, Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent. Frequently our assistance is requested in the surrounding districts of Brecon and the Forest of Dean.
The Group now have their own reserve where Group members and members of the public can watch the badgers and sometimes photograph them at close quarters.
Found on Sunday 7th March by a dog walker on the side of a muddy footpath In Monmouth, near an old railway bridge, Monty was in a pitiful state. Tiny, freezing cold , wet and hungry and with closed eyes this little scrap clung to life as the dogwalker reported her find to Gwent Badger Group. After failing to find him at first (note importance of precise location details), he was eventually located by two group members, wrapped in a blanket and taken to Marlows vets in Chepstow, squealing vigorously all the way there. He was cold to the bone and it was miraculous he was still alive.
Marlows responded magnificently with emergency veterinary staff waiting at the premises to assess the tiny creature. Originally thought to be a female badger, the name was later hastily changed from Bridget (found near a bridge) to Monty, (from Monmouth) a name more suited to a male. To be fair it is hard to tell the sex of badgers at this age so I am told. Monty was estimated to be three to four weeks old and weighed in at 690 grams. He was warmed up slowly and given Welpi puppy milk plus a healthcheck.
A dedicated member of the Marlows veterinary team took Monty home that night to give him regular feeds of milk as his mother would have done. Fees were kindly waived except for the puppy milk.
It is difficult to know exactly why this little guy was found on a footpath, vulnerable to attack and hungry when of course he should have been safe and warm underground with his mother in their sett, not emerging until much later. Theories put forward are that 1) The sett was flooded. This is highly possible as Monmouth suffered badly in the recent floods. The sow badger may have been trying to move her cubs to safety and perhaps Monty got left behind? 2) A small dog went down the sett and pulled Monty out. Two small marks were later discovered on his neck – were they dog tooth marks? We may never know the truth. There was no evidence of any other badger cubs nearby or adults. Though it is believed a sett may be in the vicinity it was considered best to remove him to safety and comfort as it was a public footpath and he was in a bad way.
The important thing is that he got good care. The following day a response driver from Secret World Wildlife Rescue (SWWR) picked up Monty and took him to SWWR in Somerset where he was admitted and cared for by experienced staff.
A recent enquiry as to how Monty is progressing revealed that he is feeding well on Lectade, putting on weight and his eyes are opening. He is also noisy! A delightful foot note is that a recently rescued female cub from Herts and Middlesex Badger Group has gone to Secret World too, so Monty will have a companion.
SWWR is only admitting absolute emergency animal casualties at present due to the Corvid 19 lockdown and its fundraising activities have all been cancelled for the time being. It is expensive, intensive work rearing a badger cub so Gwent Badger Group recently made a donation of £300 to assist them. If you want to make your own personal extra donation towards Monty’s care or the other wild animals there who need care too their contact number is: 01278 783250 They do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances.
Together we can save the badgers
The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it an offence to willfully:
Take, injure or kill a badger;
Cruelly ill-treat a badger;
Interfere with a badger sett;
Selling or being in possession of a live badger; and
Marking or ringing a badger.
A person convicted of an offence or offences under the terms of the Act:
is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months per offence, and or a fine not exceeding level 5 (approx £5000).
will have any badger, skin, and if the court sees fit, any weapon or article used in committing the offence forfeited
Any dog used in committing an offence may be destroyed, and the offender disqualified from having custody of a dog, and made to pay for the dogs destruction.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Section 11 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prohibits the taking and killing wild animals either by means of:
Badgers are listed on Schedule 6 of the Act.
24 hr Emergency Contact
Call us in cases where badgers are in need of assistance or to notify us of road casualties and persecution. Never hesitate to contact us when you consider badgers are injured or under threat. That one telephone call could make the difference.
Badgers have a very distinctive black and white face and their body is normally silvery-grey with paler fur underneath. the badge is a member of the Mustelid family, so is related to stoats, weasels and otters. It is just as common as the red fox, but more nocturnal and elusive in its habits.
Setts vary from a single-entrance to large multiple entrance complexes with large piles of spoil and worn paths. Badgers will collect bedding such as grass or leaves which they drag backwards to the sett often leaving bedding trails.An occupied sett can be recognised by the tidy burrow entrances, marked with piles of used bedding (hay and leaves), and by nearby latrine pits where the occupants leave their droppings.
Badgers feed on small mammals, earthworms, fruit, roots and bulbs; they use their strong front paws to dig for food. Cubs are born in January or February, but spend the first two or three months underground, only emerging in the spring; this is the best time to spot badgers.
Mating takes place between February and May, with implantation delayed until late winter. Only one female badger in a social group normally breeds, although sometimes two or more may do so. Litters of 2-3 cubs are born around February blind and hairless in the safety of the nest. They usually appear above ground at about 8 weeks, and weaning usually takes about 12 weeks. By late summer they are usually feeding independently but can be adversely affected by drought at this time causing starvation.
The Gwent Badger Group is fortunate enough to have its own reserve on the outskirts of Usk, where members and others can watch badgers close whilst in it's natural environment.
Our badger watching is popular - even with the media! BBC Wales visited the reserve to watch and narrate on a live badger watch!
NOT TO BE DISAPPOINTED AND CHANCE MISSING THIS EXPERIENCE, CONTACT US VIA THE EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW TO BOOK YOUR PLACE.
Members of the Group can enjoy this incredible experience free of charge, other individuals are asked to make a donation to our work and the maintenance of the reserve.
Watch this video on badgers at our reserve and to book a place on a badger watch send an email request to