Animal magic in East Sussex
Interesting to see a trial TB vaccination scheme for badgers going on in East Sussex. We have quite a strong badger population around here and it's always lovely to spot the shy creatures fossicking around at dusk - although sadly we see too many on roads as well. The trial reckons that by getting hold of about 80% of the local badger population each year for three years, they can see if it makes a difference. Badgers and cattle are so much part of our Sussex landscape - here's to peaceful co-existence.
Talking of wild animals, at this time of year if you're staying in one of our rural hideaways (click here to view our rural cottages) or farm cottages you might hear some unearthly screaming in the night. No, not ghosts - just foxes. They will almost certainly wake you up and if you haven't heard them before you might wonder what on earth is going on. All I'll say is, sex is not a happy business for Mrs Fox. The good thing about country foxes is that they are generally healthier than their town cousins - glossy red-brown coats are a good sign; mangy silver ones are not.
Finally, in one of last month's blogs I mentioned that three of the reining team for the Word Equestrian Games happened to come from Bodiam in Sussex. Well, I can now tell you the team finished eighth, exactly half way down the leaderboard - so no medals, but not a bad day at the office. Our Sussex riders didn't make it through to the individual final, but I dare say that means they'll be determined to do better next time.
This is really my way of setting the scene for my favourite anecdote from the championships. At the press briefing (remember this all happened across the Channel) a photographer asked what would be the arrangements for photographers during the reining. And the reply? 'Ponchos will be provided, sir.'