Corfe Mullen “urban” badgers

By popular demand (well OK it was actually only Sarah that asked), here is a post about badgers, along with the one and only badger video that I have ever taken.

Badger Sett Entrance

Badger Sett Entrance

I have spent hours waiting for badgers in our nearby wood. Hours and hours and hours… and then some more long, leg cramping hours staring at brown holes in the ground – including the one above.

I’ve heard the stripey critters plenty of times. Usually they wait until it’s totally pitch black and then all come out and dance around in front of me. That’s what it sounds like…. I can’t see a blinkin thing! In the last four years I have probably seen them no more than three times – and then only fleetingly.

The trouble with my badgers is that they are “urban”. Gradually enclosed by houses, their sett is a small oasis of woodland in a concrete desert. They don’t like people, and they don’t like light!

We think the sett is more than 40 years old. My husband and his sister can remember seeing the sett when they were kids and used to play in the same wood.

I had to use the very under-powered infra-red light on my video camera to take this film below, but as your eyes get used to it, and you spot the black and white striped face, it’s not too bad.

I’m very worried about this family of badgers. The proposed new housing development in Corfe Mullen will take away their nearest foraging fields, while kids already ride over their sett with BMX bikes and stuff the sett entrances with plastic bags (that I promptly take out and report to the police).

It used to be a large sett, with many badgers. Now I estimate there are no more than 2 or 3.

It’s sad to think that I may have filmed the last of the Corfe Mullen “urban” badgers.

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17 thoughts on “Corfe Mullen “urban” badgers

  1. Thanks Jane!! It’s such a shame that they’re likely to have their fields taken away but nice to be able to see what may be the last of that particular badger family – they’re lucky to have you keeping an eye on them. Let’s hope they continue to live in relative peace for a while longer. (probably best to say ‘no comment’ about the kids on their BMX’s!!)

  2. Pingback: Advice needed for badger watching - Wildlife and Environment Forums

  3. You have some excellent footage and expert advice.All the family have enjoyed your badger video.Totally agree with the other views about how terrible it is that fields are once again being lost to houses.Our family enjoy many happy hours in Dorset each year such a beautiful county.
    Thanks once again
    Kate

  4. Kate. Thanks so much for visiting the site. It really makes it worthwhile when you get a comment like yours. If you or your family have any “requests” please don’t hesitate to let me know! Dorset is a lovely place, with lots of wildlife, I’m very lucky…

  5. WOW !!! Your film is AMAZING! I can’t even take a decent still pic’ in daylight! We have a Badger who passes through our garden, often stopping to eat snack we put out for him. Only seen him once at about 11pm. He didn’t flinch at camera flash when I tried to take pictures, just kept on eating! New housing nearby means that here also, their habitat is being destroyed. It is really sad! Thankyou SoOh much for sharing your wonderful film.
    Cathyh

  6. Cathyh. Thank you so much for your kind comments. Not sure of amazing, but I was pretty excited to get it. You are so lucky to have a “passing through” badger. I’ve only seen a badger once in our garden, funnily enough, at 11pm! I expect he is there quite a lot, but much later at night. I’ve now got a CCTV camera, so I should be able to watch out for him in the middle of the night! Thank you again for visiting my site. Jane

  7. I remember seeing these sets regularly in the 1970s, and being worried about them when the housing enclosed their sets in the 1980s. I remember at least three worked entrances on different parts of the bank. We called this wood “The Georges”, but I never knew why; I presume it had something to do with the landowners of the big house at the end of the lane at the bottom of the slope?

  8. Hi Peter. Many thanks for your comment. Yes, that sett is still there. In fact since I wrote this post back in December 2007 I’m slightly more optimistic about the number of badgers left and how they are coping. I think the badger that visits our garden (see posts, video and photos from this Spring) comes from that sett. He/she was certainly looking very fit and healthy earlier this year. I keep an eye on the number of sett entrances and at the moment there are two distinct setts (one could be a maternity sett) at either end of the copse, each one with at least 3 or 4 “used” and “newly dug” sett entrances. So maybe there’s still some hope for the “urban” badgers of Corfe Mullen. Jane

  9. after reading the comments on badgers in corfe mullen i would just like to say that i have eight badgers that come in my garden.i started noticing them about four or five months ago ,i was sitting outside watching the sky when i heard what sounded like someone drunk crashing through the hedge so i got up to investigate only to have a badger walk between my legs while trying to look into the hedge.needlessto say i kept very still over fear of being bitten.over the last four months i have managed to see them every night, i have a group of three come together at seven oclock them i have one very large one then another group of two and two on there own all between seven thirty and eight oclock.i usually hide out on the patio behind a chair or sometimes i just sit there in plain view to the badgers and they dont really take any notice. i have even had one in my kitchen i usually leave them some food and while doing this around the back the badger came through the hedge at the side and decided to investigate my kitchen in the dark.i have had some close encounters with the badgers from climbing up my leg due to me having a pocket full of peanuts and scaring me half to death but the closest was when i was laying on the patio with my head hanging over the edge due to it being raised up to try and hide from a badger and he walked up stopped and licked me on the nose and carried on his way leaving me half scared to death once again,since then i havent done that again i just stick to hiding on the patio.i also have some amazing close up photos due to being able to get so close,all i can say is i feel very lucky to see them all the time its a shame im the only one to see them due to all my friends having no interest in things like that.

  10. Thanks Scott h! How brilliant to have had this sort of contact with wild badgers. I would love to know where in the country you are. Is it rural/built up where you live? You should let BBC Autumnwatch know… I expect they would be in your garden in a flash! Thanks again for leaving your comment. Your friends don’t know what they are missing! Jane

  11. hi jane just to let you and others interested know, i live in corfe mullen on wareham road.the amount of people that i hear saying that there are no badgers in corfe mullen is unbelievable i think that either a lot of people go to bed early or they just are unfortunate to live in a place where there are none.last night being unable to sleep i decided to go outside and watch the sky for a while hoping to get beamed up by little green men i came across a very large badger in the front garden which was digging away looking for something, food i gather,i noticed something has been doing this for quite a while but i never actually seen what did this needless to say this kept me amused for about half an hour watching it forage about. the time was three thirty when i went outside so i dont believe that badgers only come out between seven and ten oclock which i have read on a lot of websites the badgers in my garden come twice or maybe three times a night which keeps me amused all night.also when i have my daughter at weekends she loves to watch them as well and lucky enough she doesnt have to stay up late because the first ones always turn up at seven fifteen and the next morning we go out and look at all the footprints in the garden and my daughter fills them with plaster of paris to make a cast of there feet.the problem i know have is that in a couple of months the house is going to be redeveloped and also the house next door which i fear will upset the habits of these badgers and i therefore will have to move and feel that i wont be moving to another place like this and i will have to resort to finding wildlife elsewhere which is going to be difficult considering i dont have a car. i have invited people to come and see these badgers but so far no one is interested so if you like to see them send me an email.i dont expect people to be to eager as the thought of this with a total stranger is probably not a good idea for them but then that how you make new friends with the same interest i think so if you live in corfe mullen or nearby give me a shout i dont bite honestly.

  12. hi jane scott again.i was just wondering where abouts in corfe mullen you see these badgers as i would be interested in seeing them myself most people say they all look the same but that doesnt matter ,thanks scoot

  13. Hi Scott. It really worries me that you say your house is about to be redeveloped (and next door). If your garden is a foraging area for badgers (and they live nearby) then this needs to be taken into consideration when they redevelop the area as badgers, their setts and foraging areas are protected by UK law. If you could let me know where you live on Wareham Road by emailing me at jane @ naturewatched.org then I can have a look at the planning application the developers made. Unfortunately I can’t publicise where the badgers have been seen in Corfe Mullen as there are some very strange people around who don’t like badgers and will go out of their way to harm them. A sad fact of life… Thanks again for your comment. Jane

  14. Hi Scott. If you would like to email a few of the best photos to me, that would be great. You have my naturewatched.org email address I think? Thanks. Jane

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