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Thursday

The evening looked like it might be better for the badgers today. The long, hot summer day had stirred the air up into a frenzy; and a storm cloud was building on the horizon, The badgers could sense the change in the air - the humidity was much higher; and the woodland seemed to have a different feel to it. However, until the storm actually arrived, the woods remained hot and dry; and the badgers remained very thirsty indeed.

Anyway, the bedding in the sett was in need of freshening up; so it had to be dragged out of the sett to be aired. Some of the badgers did more work than the others. One of the boars, was expanding a large rabbit hole to try and form a new tunnel to make the sett that little bit better. Head badger watched him suspiciously.

The only chance of getting any water was in the garden of that stately home, but that was a long way off; and across a busy road and a railway.

One of the smaller cubs was notably lethargic; and had to be nudged along as he stumbled and swayed through the woodland paths. If he was a bit bigger, he might have been able to get some food, but the older badgers always got there first. He really was feeling very weak indeed, All the badgers hoped, he'd be alright; but they'd seen cubs die before, and, likely as not they would again.

...

It was such a near miss, with the little cub. He hardly had the energy or the balance to run in a straight line, and he missed getting killed by that car by inches. The good thing was that the gardeners tap was dripping and all the badgers managed to get a drink of sorts. At least the little cub would probably survive at least one more night (if he didn't get hit by another speeding car).

That storm never did come, and it remained hot and humid all night.

"(I was) learning to distinguish one footfall from another. The one which gave me least trouble was the imminent arrival of the badger, for certainly in this neck of the woods he is its heaviest-footed inmate, careless almost, doubtless because his natural environment holds no terrors for him. ... now I was certain a badger was coming my way"
Jim Crumley