REBECCA Pow and Michael Eavis have resigned their vice president positions at a wildlife trust after a petition gained nearly 90,000 signatures.

The Taunton Deane MP and Glastonbury Festival legend were both given the positions in 2015 by Somerset Wildlife Trust, but have today resigned (June 22).

A petition calling for their resignation has gained 88,000 supporters. The petition calls for the pair to leave the trust due to their support for the controversial badger cull.

The charity, which has a badger as its logo, said the honorary posts were awarded in recognition of their 'significant contributions' to environmental work and support for the county’s leading conservation charity.

The petition said having them in high-profile positions within the Trust was a 'betrayal of paying members' and 'counter-productive to the conservation movement'.

Ms Pow says she has been a member of the trust for more than 30 years, and the decision has been "difficult".

She said: “Although I have made the difficult decision to stand down as the vice-president of the Somerset Wildlife Trust, I will continue to work with the Trust to the benefit of our natural world locally.

"I have been a member for over 30 years and working for the good of the wider environment has always been important to me. There are many demands on our precious environment and taking a balanced view for the greater good is key and I shall continue to do what I can towards this endeavour.”

Ms Pow is a supporter of the badger cull, which petition creator Foxhunt Watch says there is 'no scientific evidence' for.

Her website states: "Bovine TB is a serious disease which threatens the future of our beef and dairy industries. Between 1997 and 2010, the incidence of the disease increased nine-fold with 26,000 cattle having to be slaughtered in 2014 alone. This is clearly an unsustainable situation, especially when our agriculture industry is already under huge strain.

"TB is not a burden that our farmers can afford to bear and I am pleased that the Government is committed to delivering its 25-year strategy to eradicate this devastating disease from England.

"The measures include strengthening cattle testing and movement controls, vaccinating badgers in areas where TB is spreading, and culling badgers where the disease is rife."

Mr Eavis, a keen supporter of the cull, says he will continue to work with the trust, but said his resignation would save the trust from 'embarrassment'.

"They [badgers] are just obliterating the countryside. I've been campaigning for the cull for years and years and years," he said.

"I'm not going to back down so I've said I'll save them [the trust] the embarrassment and walk away from it.

"I don't need to be a vice-president - I don't need that title."

Somerset Wildlife Trust said Rebecca Pow and Michael Eavis had no influence on the day-to-day running of the charity.

A spokesman said: "We are aware that concerns have been raised recently about two Somerset Wildlife Trust Vice-Presidents, Rebecca Pow and Michael Eavis, with reference to the Trust’s policy on badger culling.

"Both Rebecca and Michael, who have had no influence over the day to day running of the Trust, or bearing on our position on the badger cull, have been the subject of a kind of online campaigning, which they feel is counterproductive to our aims, and have both decided to step down as vice-presidents of the Trust. 

"We would like to extend our thanks to them for their years of support for the Trust and wildlife in Somerset.

The Trust’s said it's position on the badger cull has never changed, it is still opposed and it will not allow it on its land.

The spokesman added: "Somerset Wildlife Trust will continue to work with a wide range of organisations, people, communities and groups in order to achieve our conservation aims in Somerset. Our remit in the county is broad, so we cannot work with only those who have the same views as us. 

"If we are to change the hearts and minds of others to protect wildlife and their habitats, we have to work with, and challenge others, as well being challenged ourselves. 

"This is a position we share with many other conservation organisations.  Our work also will continue to involve working with a range of MPs across the political spectrum, so we can drive our advocacy programmes, and influence conservation policy at both a local and national level."