Badgers in the Lakes
The cute and curious badger is one of Britain’s most loved wild creatures; their presence on this island dating back over half a million years! The Lake District is home to a large number of badgers, despite recent measures to cull them in an attempt to prevent bovine TB.
Here are five fun facts about badgers:
Why badgers are protected:
Unfortunately, there are many threats to badgers in the UK, mostly from the human population. Badger bating, poisoning and lamping are still widely practiced in rural areas. Add to this, new developments and forestry work destroying their setts and it’s no wonder there is the need for so many badger protection organisations across the UK. The Badger Trust works tirelessly to protect badgers from culling, hunting and man-made intrusions to their environment.
Where to spot badgers in the Lake District:
Tell tale signs of a badger sett:
If you’re keen on doing a bit of badger spotting yourself, there are a few tell-tale signs that will point you in the right direction to a lived-in sett:
It Is best to look for a a sett early in the morning, then re-visit it at sun-down after your scent has worn-off. Wear neutral colours; avoid scents like perfume or cigarette smoke; stay as still as possible and try not to make any noise or sudden moves. Badger cubs are particularly curious and may even approach you if you’re lucky. Don’t try to touch, pet or feed badgers or their young.
It is a criminal offence to disturb badgers, or damage, destroy or obstruct their setts. Not everyone is a fan of the badger, so be wary about giving out locations of setts.
Badger culling and vaccination:
The debate rages on; should badgers be culled to stop the spread of bovine TB in farmer’s livestock? With the alternative of vaccination for the badger population, many conservation groups are pushing for vaccines as the way forward, rather than destroying the population in an area. Culling is currently going on in Cumbria, although many natural spots are still considered protected.
Sources of further reading:
Read more about the Lake District outdoors:
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