First published in 1986, this is a book written by a small lady who suffered from back pain. That sounds rather sad, rather than interesting, but it is a riveting, high-tension, emotional thriller. Because of her back pain, Chris Ferris (a pseudonym) went for long night walks in the woods and fields of her native area, I believe Kent. She developed excellent night vision and endless patience, and through these got to see the night wildlife - especially owls, foxes and badgers. What is more, the nightlife got to know her as well, and got so used to her that Ferris could make real contact with the foxes and badgers. The problem was that there were more people out at night, with less patience and different purposes: poachers and badger diggers. In this book Ferris documents the nocturnal life of the fox and badger, her interaction with them, and her interaction with the poachers and diggers. At times the goings-on are almost unbelievable, when she confronts several men of much bigger size tha herself in defense of her beloved badgers, but her writing powers are such that she makes it absolutely convincing. She leaves you both furious and shaky when she is shot at, knocked about, and threatened; she leaves you deeply impressed by her care for the animals she interacts with. You also learn a great deal about these animals' natural history, and the fact that the foreword is by Ernest Neal, the well-known badger expert, shows that her findings impressed many. Ferris also had good, and well-described, contacts with many of the local farmers, who were also frustrated by poachers, lampers and other criminals making life hard for country people.
This is a touching book as well as a very informative one, and I would recommend it highly to anyone interested in the countryside.