Essex: Happy coincidence helps to save badgers

WHEN a badger rescuer needed help on what to do next, she turned to the internet.

Louise Hartshorn, who found a starving cub near her Essex home, thought the right advice would be among the millions of pages on the world wide web.

But help was a lot closer to hand than she could ever have imagined – in the office next door.

The internet search turned up the name of Adrian Hinchliffe, who worked in the adjoining room to her at Anglian Water (AW), Stanway, near Colchester.

Mr Hinchliffe, barely known to Louise, helps run North East Essex Badger Group and is the Suffolk badger sett and casualty recorder.

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Louise, a drinking water sampler at AW, said: “I couldn’t believe it, really. I hadn’t really spoken to Adrian before and I thought, ‘it can’t be him’. But when I rang the number it was and he was very excited.

“I couldn’t have really asked for a better colleague to talk to.”

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Together the pair returned to the spot near Wormingford where Louise had found the cub. A search found two more starving cubs and Mr Hinchliffe believes their mother may have been a female badger that was found dead in the same area 10 days earlier.

He said: “I took all three cubs to Judy Massie from the badger group, who stayed up all night, feeding them every hour. The next day they had picked up a bit, so that afternoon I took them to the rescue centre.”

The siblings are now thriving at the Wildlife Aid animal sanctuary in Surrey – made famous by the TV programme, Wildlife SOS.

The badgers will stay with Simon and his team for some months until they are big enough to be released back into the wild. You can follow their progress on the charity’s webcam, which can be found at

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