After all this high-level, scientific badgerology I felt the need to get back down to earth. On Sunday I took Scarlett on her first trip to see a badger sett. I also wanted the chance to see how they are doing after the cold weather and whether they are preparing for spring. Donning the baby carrier and camouflage umbrella I set off into the drizzle.
Now, I had planned to turn this trip into a photo-guide on what to look for at a badger sett, as a guide to people who want to know if they’ve got badgers in their local area. Unfortunately, after snapping pictures of everything in sight – holes, paths, dung pits etc – I got home to find that my camera settings had mysteriously changed and none of the pictures I took show anything at all. Damn it.
Never mind. It gives me an excuse to go back next week. Scarlett enjoys these walks, and I do to. For the record I can say that the badgers seemed to be positively thriving. The dung pits were all full, showing a lot of feeding. The sett was very active, with no fewer than six of the holes showing significant signs of fresh digging and tracks. This is a good sign, as sow badgers will take up residence in their own part of the sett to give birth and rear their young, so at least one or two of these holes are probably ‘maternity suites’.
Stay tuned for next week, when I’ll hopefully be back with a fully-illustrated guide to badger setts.