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Monday, November 28, 2011


A recent comment from Yorkshire Pudding sent me off to investigate the photos we took on our holiday in England earlier in the year.

He wanted a blog post about badgers.

Now , as an Aussie, I don't know much about badgers.

I do know I was anxious to see one in the wild when we were in the UK
and believe me I looked
but , unfortunately, the only badger I managed to see was a dead one on the side of the road near Ludlow,
lying there like it was asleep
it's pretty black and white stripey nose stretched out in front
and its thick cream fur unblemished ( luckily !).
(The two above photos from the internet)


when we went walking through the fields above our cottage in Martinstown, Dorset

along those wonderful public footpaths that you find everywhere in the country, edged all the way by cow parsley in glorious bloom,

we climbed to the top of the hill and came out

to this beautiful view over the surrounding countryside.

A little further on we came upon a small section of large trees

and in amongst the trees we found

 this !

(click to enlarge )
a large mounded area.

Could this be a badger sett?

It covered a very large area and was riddled with entrances.

At the time we had no idea.
 Thought perhaps it was the home of lots of rabbits

but since then I've come to believe it was
perhaps the home of many badgers?

I eagerly await your verdict.


"People come - they stay for a while, they flourish, they build - and they go.
It is their way
But we remain
There were badgers here, I've been told, long before that same city ever came to be,
And now ther are badgers here again.
We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time but we wait, and are patient, and back we come.
And so it will ever be." 

~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 4.


  1. My neighbour told me, one night she was putting her bins out. 2 badgers came trundling down the road, quite purposefully,side by side. They ignored her completely and continued on their way.

  2. It probably was a sett - tell your blogger friend if he wants badgers we can oblige as we have several setts in the woods alongside our house and the badgers are a real nuisance round here as they dig up our gardens every night! However since the badgers were here befor the buildings we learn to live and let live. We often see them in our driveway especially when the hazelnuts are ripe and falling on the ground as they seem to love crunching their way through those every night! Perhaps I should do a badger post as I even have a photo I took one night when they were just outside our front door in the driveway!

  3. Helen - yes it looks like a badger sett to me. Many badger setts are hundreds of years old. They were often there long before their human neighbours came along so who are truly the "real nuisances"? Up The Badgers! Sounds to me like they are plotting to take over Lady Marigold-Jam's mansion. Then she'll have to live in a sett!

  4. P.S. Did you collect any droppings from around the sett? They could have confirmed that badgers were in residence.

  5. No badgers here, except maybe the local high school football team. Great to re-visit this vacation again. Looks like you are getting the itch to go. Is that your luggage I see peeking out of the closet calling your names.

  6. Yes, that looks like a badger sett to me. We've got badgers in the lane behind our house. They come out very late at night and wander around, usually way past my bedtime, but I was lucky to meet one very early one morning when I was out with the dog. It ran right past my leg. Stunning creatures.

  7. Fascinating post. I'd never really thought about badgers much before and had no idea they lived in huge setts like that.

  8. I think they are rabbit holes because the entrances are way too small to accommodate a badger. Badgers are pretty big beasts and if you look at the photo of the one emerging from the hole, the hole is pretty big too. A good way of telling is to look closely around the entrance holes. Rabbits poo (large raisin-types) right outside, whereas badgers do it in a designated area away from the entrance and their poo looks like dog's, only with berries. Hope that's not too graphic for you Helsie!!

    Like Jane, we have badger markings in our garden from time to time and one year we had one who feasted on all the big fat worms in our compost by digging right underneath it.

    Lovely looking as they are, I'm not sure I'd call them sweet!

    Kate x

  9. I just came over from my Blog friend John, who describes a nocturnal meeting with a badger http://disasterfilm.blogspot.com/2011/11/weve-just-met-badger.html
    and how his dogs reacted :-D

  10. Looks like the jury is still out on the badger sett or not. I remember they were quite big holes and the soil was very dry and dusty - unusual for England !
    YP: Sorry we didn't investigate the poo situation but I'll remember Kate's distinctions for next time!
    I've been over to visit John ( I drop by often !) and have asked his opinion too. We'll have to see what he thinks.
    Kate (GB) yes we are yearning and watching the crazy Stock Market and wishing and hoping. It doesn't look promising at this stage for a trip but we never say never.

  11. Rabbits. The entrances would be MUCH bigger if it was a badger. Also, badgers leave large mounds of fresh earth outside each hole.