Until the mid-eighteenth century badgers had been a stubborn inhabitant of Britain, though not of any of the offshore islands except Anglesey and the Isle of Wight. [Ref: 1] However by 1909 the badger was extinct on the island. [Ref: 2]

In the 1920s, Mr John Willis Fleming, the then Master of the Isle of Wight Hunt, became alarmed as an outbreak of mange endangered the whole fox population and hence his blood-sport. Taking advice from friends on the mainland, he imported a dozen badgers and turned them out. It’s not the first time the hunt had imported an animal to the Island, no foxes existed on the Island until the hunt imported them for ‘sport’. The badgers drove foxes away from their diseased earths and cleaned them, and the foxes were forced to open fresh earths. [Ref: 3]


1. ‘Wildlife in Britain and Ireland’ by Richard Perry
2. ‘A Guide to the Natural History of the Isle of Wight’ by Frank Morey
3. ‘The Isle of Wight Hunt’ by Michael Poland