'Badger woman' seeks new home

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The Independent Online
ROS WYNNE-JONES

Desmond Morris, the zoologist, yesterday appealed for a new home for a naturalist facing eviction from her badger sanctuary. Mr Morris hopes someone can offer Eunice Overend somewhere to live and work.

A decade ago, Paul Lysley, an organic farmer in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, agreed to give Miss Overend, known to television nature programmes as "the badger woman", a 15-acre pocket of land in return for carrying out conservation work on his 1,000 acre estate.

In addition to researching the relationship between badgers and the spread of bovine tuberculosis, Miss Overend has used the makeshift sanctuary to hand-rear dozens of badger cubs and set up a series of rescue pens. But recently Mr Lysley gave land, including Miss Overend's 15 acres, to a former partner, Brenda Eppey, who ordered Miss Overend, 76, to leave the property.

Miss Overend, who shares a caravan on the land with three collie dogs, said yesterday: "My work here is done in many ways. I want to continue it elsewhere, but it is not simple finding somewhere."

Ms Eppey's solicitor, Owen Strickland, said the matter was one of planning permission for Miss Overend's caravan.

But Mr Morris said: "There must be somebody out there who cares about badgers and would be able to give Eunice a corner of their land where she can continue her work."

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