Rock star Brian May joined dozens of anti-badger cull protesters on a walk through one of the pilot areas.

The Queen guitarist got a warm round of applause when he met around 50 people taking part in one of the nightly Wounded Badger Patrols in Eldersfield, near Malvern.

The controversial pilots Gloucestershire and Somerset aim to tackle tuberculosis in cattle by killing around 5,000 badgers over a six-week period.

The NFU confirmed the west Somerset cull began last week and opponents believe the shooting in west Gloucestershire started on Tuesday night.

May said his visit to the county was timed to give a morale boost to those out on nightly badger patrols.

The musician, a leading opponent of the cull, had earlier been in Newent to meet residents and discuss their views on the pilot taking place on their doorstep.

Farmers and the Government insist culling of badgers, which can spread TB to cattle, is needed to stop spiralling rates of the disease in herds.

But opponents say culling the protected animal will have only a small effect on infection rates in cattle and will lead to badgers suffering.