Jane Ratcliffe - Obituary
Guardian - 4 January 2000
by Patrick Barkham
Jane Ratcliffe, who has died aged
82, was a passionate wildlife campaigner, naturalist and author,
renowned for rescuing injured animals and releasing them back into
The enduring testimony to her fight
against the digging, baiting and killing of badgers is the 1973
Badgers Act - the first protection for wild land mammals ever
passed by parliament.
A resolution on badger protection
submitted by Ratcliffe to her local Women's Institute in Cheshire
was adopted by its national conference in 1970. She then helped
Lord Arran pilot through his private member's bill, which made it
an offence to "cruelly ill-treat" badgers.
She combined this work with the
physical protection of badgers from hunters with dogs, as well as
recording the decline of the local badger populations, rescuing
wounded badgers and moving whole setts to safer locations.
Through the Badger Gate (1974), her
story of the battle, was serialised on BBC Radio 4....
For 25 years, she rescued hundreds
of injured birds and mammals, including badgers, foxes, buzzards,
owls, kestrels and peregrine falcons. As the title of her second
book, Fly High, Run Free (1979), emphasised, she never sought to
tame nature, preferring to release creatures back into the wild.
......As she argued in Through The
Badger Gate: "We, as human beings, were lucky enough to have
evolved a high-powered brain, but this does not give us such
superiority over all living things that we are entitled to treat
them in a servant and master relationship."
Edna Jane Ratcliffe, naturalist and
writer, born June 2 1917; died December 3 1999