Every night for the last 20 years, Chris Ferris has been studying badgers in her local woods. Tormented by a serious back-problem, she found relief by getting out of bed and wandering in the countryside near her home. What she discovered there first intrigued her and then changed her whole life.
Today she is one of Britain's leading badger experts. Small, middle-aged and wearing a tatty old anorak, her appearance belies a remarkable courage and a determined approach to field research. From dusk to dawn - in wind, rain and snow - she is out there in the woods, watching and recording every detail of the lives of her badgers. Her persistence has been amply repaid because the badgers now accept her totally as one of their own.
'Out of the Darkness' is Chris Ferris' account of the last two years in which she has followed the mixed fortunes of several badger families. She witnesses their constant persecution by unscrupulous poachers who come to steal them under cover of dark with lurchers, lamps, nets and spades; their family interactions as the cubs are born and a new social order is established, and their tragedies as some are wounded on the roads or maimed by illegal snares.
Her nocturnal vigils have also given her an unusual insight into other night-creatures including foxes, hedgehogs, owls and rodents, when her remarkable stillness is rewarded by rare glimpses of their totally natural behaviour.