Binfield Badger GroupProtecting Badgers in Berkshire
Charity number: 1075886
The European badger (Meles meles) can be found in most parts of Great Britain, with its black and white striped face being a familiar conservation symbol. In the past the badger’s predators would have been bears and wolves, but since their extermination, badger’s only predator is man, his car and his bulldozer.
Badgers’ setts are found in areas which provide shelter, security and an adequate food supply, especially deciduous woodland near pasture. Badgers live in a social group, following long established pathways. They impregnate both their territory and other members of their social group with their particular group scent. Badgers are found throughout Berkshire, local sett records are constantly updated to give an accurate picture of the badger’s status in the County.
Badgers tend to feed alone, often only coming together to search for food in the best areas. Their main food is the earthworm, they can eat 200 per night. When worms are not available, during droughts or when the ground is frozen, badgers will take whatever is available, such as fruit, insects, cereals, and grubs. When they do socialise or have an argument, you may be lucky to hear them kecker. In fact they appear to have a reasonable vocabulary and the following linked page allows you to hear the range of sounds they often make http://zoo-wildcru.zoo.ox.ac.uk/research/reseach-1/
Adult badgers protect, discipline and groom their young. They are very house proud and do not intentionally interfere or disturb anyone. The average boar (male) weighs 11 kg and is approximately 90 cm in length. Sows (females) are generally smaller and lighter. The central point of any badger territory is the main sett, which consists of a series of tunnels and chambers. Sett identification can be difficult, but there are several distinguishing features;
Protection & Persecution
Badgers are protected by law. The Badger Act of 1992 was introduced to protect setts and their occupants. This has not stopped badger diggers, who send their dogs into setts and then trap the badgers, all in the name of “sport”. They may then kill the badgers themselves or sell them to badger baiters who will fight them against their dogs, inflicting horrific injuries on all of the animals involved. Because of the badger’s great strength, it is a formidable opponent, enduring extremes of misery and punishment before death. Badgers are also tormented by snaring, shooting, gassing, poisoning and lamping. It is the persecution of these animals that has given us the term to “badger” somebody. Please help us by reporting any suspicious activity near a sett immediately. If you see anyone with spades, dogs, nets, tongs or cages, ring the Police 999 and RSPCA at once. Record everything you see, including vehicle registration numbers, but do not approach the suspects, they are often as violent towards humans as they are towards badgers.
It is important that dead badgers are reported to us as soon as possible, so that they can be removed from public view, as this may give away the location of a sett. If you see an injured badger please contact the RSPCA and the local Badger Group as quickly as possible. Many injured badgers can be treated and returned to their own sett. Injured badgers need to be handled with caution, any frightened wild animal will be defensive. Whether injured or dead, please note the exact location.