This video shows how we found a new badger sett and how we identified the area as belonging to a badger rather than another animal.
Following a footpath into a deciduous woodland, we were delighted at the sheer number of bluebells. Following the path through the trees, we saw another path along an old dry-stone wall, which we followed too. The path narrowed as it progressed deeper into the woodland - eventually becmining little more than a narrow animal path which lead to a large burrow. Our first thought was "could this be a badger sett"? The burrow was formed by a large entrance hole in the ground and was surrounded by bare soil where all the vegetation had been eroded. A large spoil heap had been dug out of the tunnels and was in front of the burrow. There were well-worn paths all around the entrance and they was even a much smaller breather hole which allowed more air to get into the tunnel system. There was no vegetation growing on the paths due to the heavy feet of the animals which use the tunnels. And, there was no rotting food or droppings at or near the tunnel entrances which showed that the tunnels were not those of foxes or rabbits. Just inside the tunnel entrance was a roll of bedding material (hay, green grass and leaves) which is used by badgers as a warm and comfy mattress to sleep on. The burrow was located in a deciduous/mixed ancient south-facing woodland and the tunnels are protected by being under a huge rock to keep the animals safe and secure inside their underground home. You can see from the video that the spoil heap of soil forms an elevated platform allowing badgers to see and smell approaching danger from afar. The burrow is on the steep slopes of a wooded valley; so we were pleased to conclude that this is a small badger sett.
Badgers are Britain's favourite wild mammal.
Badgers, their setts and their foraging (feeding) areas are protected by law in Britain.
This video was recorded on a short day trip on the 3rd May 2007.
With many thanks
Simon Flory
Badger Specialist
badgerland.co.uk

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