401 pages, b/w illustrations
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. They are nocturnal creatures, who vanish into their labyrinthine underground setts at the first hint of a human. Accompanied by the eccentrics and scientists who feed and study badgers, Barkham explores Badgerland - a nocturnal world in which sounds and scents are amplified, and Britain seems a much stranger place, one in which these low slung, snuffling, distinctively striped creatures gambol and dig, and live out their complex social lives. Patrick Barkham's grandmother won their trust enough to feed and nurse them, and was responsible for a Parliamentary bill that prohibited their slaughter.
Today, over 40 years later, the badger is once again set to be culled. Barkham delves into the fascinating natural and rich cultural history of the animal – from their prehistoric arrival in Britain, to their savage persecution over the centuries, to their change of fortunes in the 20th century, when Kenneth Grahame's Badger spurred a growing fondness for them. Barkham's affection for the stubborn, striped-nose creatures is infectious and Badgerlands will cement his reputation as one of our most vivid, witty and curious nature writers.
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Patrick Barkham was born in 1975 in Norfolk and was educated at Cambridge University. He is a features writer for the Guardian, where he has reported on everything from the Iraq War to climate change. He is the author of The Butterfly Isles and Coastlines: The Story of Our Shore. He lives in Norwich and Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk.