March 26, 2010
Recently, I had to reply to a outraged reader regarding the flailing of
nesting birds at Tyntesfield. I reassured her that this was only down to poor
management that the Trust has seen fit to iron out, or so it seemed.
One story that I had been meaning to write was the boil in the burrow
badgers. It’s at this point I can see the guilty party cringing and preparing a
statement of ignorance. Yes its revenge time again so let’s get on with the
The sewage system from the main house ran through the formal gardens and had
been showing signs of a breakage in the ground; this was evident by a boggy
patch of grass smelling to high heaven.
Along side this pipe was the home of a very large badger family. The set had
been dug underneath a clump of Japanese knot weed planted by the Gibbs.
Before any work could commence, the set had to be sealed off with electric
fencing to stop the badgers returning. The whole operation was overseen by a
certain manager that had been tagged with the nick name Shifty. This exclusion
took several weeks and close liaisons took place between me and Shifty as the
whole operation had to be carried out to DEFRA’S standards. After completing
weeks of checks and keeping records it was deemed OK to start the works.
Some 18 months after this operation, I happened to see a large plume of smoke
coming from the area of the set so off I went to investigate. A very large
section of the knot weed had been cut down and a bonfire had been made of it on
top of the set. Now to even the most stupid of people, it would have been very
clear that there was a set there as the area was full of tunnels (perhaps he
though it was just more escape routs dug by disillusioned staff). This took
place at a time when the set had young, not that any one on the site really gave
a damn. The warden had gone so it was really a free reign for the stupid.
One of the slogans for the Trust at the time was Tyntesfield – a breath
taking experience. Certainly worked for the badgers as the roaring fire sucked
the air from the chambers below.
When pulled up over the stupidity of his actions, Shifty lied through his
teeth claiming he had no knowledge of the Badgers or the set, or perhaps he
thought I meant bodgers. Badgers or Bodgers the only difference being is one is
a protected species, the other is a nuisance that resides in a project