Badgers – Badgers In Your Garden

Almost all gardens, including those in the heart of any city, will receive at least occasional visits from some mammals. The closer you live to places where mammals are often found – woodland, a park, a railway line or piece of rough ground – the greater the likelihood of a variety of mammal visitors. Badgers come into gardens in search of prey items such as earthworms (the badger’s main food), beetles and cranefly larvae. Evidence of the presence of badgers includes small pits called snuffle holes, produced when they dig for earthworms and other invertebrates. Their droppings are distinctive, rather loose and left in shallow holes known as dung pits. Occasionally, they may dig a small set under a shed or outbuilding.

Many people are delighted and welcome badgers when they choose to visit. Occasionally, though, they damage gardens, in particular lawns and plants, to the disappointment and annoyance of the gardener. Badgers are strong animals and can damage fences and other boundaries in their determination to enter gardens.

Photo: Colin Varndell

We offer advice viz. badgers digging up gardens or excavating under buildings etc.

If you want to discourage badgers from visiting your garden, avoid using fertilisers containing animal remains, such as fish, blood or bonemeal. They have an acute sense of smell and will come in search of the source. For the same reason, put heavy lids on your dustbins and compost bins and block any large access points to the garden. If badgers are damaging fences to gain access to a garden, it is better, if at all possible to leave a small gap for them to enter and exit the garden, Badgers are strong and determined, and will tend to make new holes if one is filled or repaired. There are now no legal chemical badger deterrents. The use of an electric fence can be a very effective deterrent. The fence should have two strands set 75mm and 200mm above ground. You can get a fence and a 12 v battery to power it, at most agricultural stores. The fence could be on a time switch to come on at dusk, and after one or two months use can usually be removed.

Badgers and their setts are protected by law, but lawful actions can usually be taken to resolve, or at least minimise problems, without harm to badgers or other animals. Please seek advice before taking action which, although considered innocent, may inadvertently result in badgers or their setts being illegally harmed or disturbed.