Gloucestershire badger cull latest news
Badger cull latest, updates here tonight.
Reporter Michael Yong is out with a wounded badger patrol and has been tweeting this evening on@Michael_Yong
You can tweet him if you are out yourself tonight.
He went to Eldersfield for the expected start of the cull, and said the group he is with is keeping to public paths.
Bring a friend to Yoga with Evelyn at 8pm on Wednesdays, and get...View details
Bring a friend to Evelyn’s “Yoga” class on Wednesdays at 8-9pm, and get your class half for only £3. Offer open to non-members. Contact Natasha on 07958 520042 for details.
Terms: Class running at Fitness4Less, Grosvenor terrace. Non-members welcome.
Valid until: Friday, January 31 2014
They have come across no wounded badgers yet but already a few setts coming out on to main road which is surprising.
In one tweet, he wrote:
Torches littering the countryside now. Can count more than 15 in the distance from my vantage point.
And in another tweet, he wrote: @Michael_Yong: Campaigners at Pillows Green Road to search out shooters @glosecho @gloscitizen
There has also been a meeting with farmers, who were shouting and threatening to call police.
He has since tweeted that campaigners have been questioned by police at Corse Lawn.
There have now been plans to split the group of campaigners.
One will stay at Corse Lawn to investigate search lights, the other will go to Corse Grove.
10pm: Now shooters confirmed at Corse Hill farm. One group there. No activity confirmed yet though.
10.15pm: Michael Yong is out in the field with photographer Michael Smith. Their report and pictures will be in the Echo and The Citizen on Thursday and online tonight and tomorrow.
10.20: Michael Yong tweets: @Michael_Yong: Now thought shooters at the Hawthorne as well. Should be at both tonight. @glosecho @gloscitizen
Michael writes that Hawthornes was a ruse
10.25: All kicking off now. Heading out to the farm, campaigners determined to stop cull and shooters.
10:30: Another campaigner tells Michael Yong that he has been questioned by police.
10.35: Michael Yong tweets: "Right now going to Corse Hill farm. Police car stationed nearby."
10:45: Michael Yong tweets: "Corse Hill farm gated up. Back to the churchyard to regroup."
10:50: MY tweets: "From the looks of it, a second patrol back at base ie. churchyard. Still no shooting reported."
10.52: MY tweets: Some campaigners have been here since 8am
10.53: Gloucestershire Police tweet in response to Michael Yong: "Police don't have forward investigation teams but we do have officers out on patrol tonight that may speak to members of the public."
12.30 No reports of any arrests in West Gloucestershire. More than 300 pairs of eyes and ears out here tonight looking for shooters
But no shooting yet here. Most of the team dispersing although some hardworking campaigners are staying.
1am @Michael_Yong: If you are still awake, first hand report will be up within two hours on @glosecho @gloscitizen websites.
@Michael_Yong tweets: A informative evening. If you want to get in contact, or you met me on patrols tonight, tweet me or email email@example.com.
What do you think of the cull? Let us know in the comment box below.
Some people are already tweeting:
Joanne Van @JoeyLV wrote: "I'm so sad about the badger cull. But protesters pls remember police HAVE to be impartial."
Police have been gearing up for the badger cull in Gloucestershire in recent weeks.
A press release from Gloucestershire Constabulary this afternoon indicates it is ready to patrol the countryside as the licenced shooting begins.
"The badger cull is a Defra policy that is being implemented by private companies under licence by Natural England," read the statement. "It will be up to them to determine where and when it starts.
"However, Gloucestershire Constabulary has been planning its response to the cull since it was first announced and this response - Operation Themis - will reach its full capacity at 8pm this evening.
"The operation is aimed at keeping all our communities safe and feeling safe, dealing with any incidents of crime and public disorder and facilitating people's rights to protest.
"Our role will to be operationally independent, impartial, even-handed and fair to everyone whatever their views, interest or involvement in the pilot scheme."
The pilot cull of 5,000 badgers in Gloucestershire and Somerset has come up against stiff opposition, with some campaigners saying they will take to public rights of way to protect badgers from the cull.
Some farmers say a cull is the right way forward, to try and stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis, as a vaccine for cattle would take too long to develop.