Frequently asked questions
Do badgers eat hedgehogs?
Yes, but by exception and only where their normal foodsource is not available. Badgers' favourite food is earthworms and they can eat up to 200 a night. They will only eat a hedgehog in extremis - and remember that predation is a natural part of our ecosystem.
How can I keep badgers off my lawn if badger-proof fencing isn't appropriate?
Badgers may be attracted to your lawn for food, particularly at certain times of the year. If fencing really isn't possible, you could try removing the food source attracting them. For example, plant bluebells in the flower border only, or remove peanuts put out for the birds at night. Better still, enjoy the badgers and welcome them onto your lawn!
I've got a badger under my shed. What should I do?
A badger found in an unusual place such as under a shed is likely to have suffered some trauma and not been able to get back to its sett. It may well be injured and require trapping prior to inspection. Do not attempt to do this yourself. Please contact us, a wildlife rescue or the RSPCA. Please see our 'Badger emergencies' page for phone numbers.
Do badgers hibernate?
No, they don't actually hibernate but they do become less active during the cold months so you are less likely to see one.
How can I tell if a badger is male or female?
A male has a broader head and narrower tail. A female has a fan tail and sows are normally slightly smaller than boars.
If there's a badger sett on a building plot, does that mean building cannot happen there?
Naturally, any building work needs planning permission. If development work will disturb a badger sett, the builder will need to apply to Natural England for a license. If Natural England deem that circumstances warrant it, they may grant a license for the sett to be legalled 'closed'.
Should I feed badgers visiting my garden and, if so, what?
Supplementary feeding is fine provided you keep it up. But, equally, try not to put food out so often that the badgers come to rely on it. Badgers especially love peanuts but will also happily chomp on fruit such as apples, plums or pears and are partial to raisins too!
Do badgers make good pets?
No, and in any case to keep a badger as a pet would be illegal under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act. Only wildlife rescue centres, vets and other suitable professionals can keep badgers during rehabilitation before release to the wild. Wildlife organisations must hold a license from Natural England for any such activities.
Can badgers live in the middle of a town?
Yes, badgers have adapted to live in urban settings provided they can find suitable habitat for foraging and dwelling. We know of several setts within Reading for example. The main threat is from traffic at night. Try to keep your speed down and 'Give badgers a brake'!