Badgers in gardens
Having badgers visiting gardens can be a pleasure, a treat for the night that households throughout the country look forward to. For others, these visitors are at least unwelcome, a threat to pristine lawns and carefully grown veggies. Wherever they can, badgers find food. They often wander quietly in the gardens at night, feeding on the earthworms, grubs, snails and slugs they find in the lawns and on the borders before moving on, leaving only the smallest visual sign (a snuffle hole here, a piece of scratched turf). At other times, especially when dry or frosted conditions make it difficult to eat natural food, flower beds and lawns are damaged in desperate quest for food.
Normally, Badgers are not fussy, discerning eaters. They will devour what is offered. Therefore, the best advice for regular feeding households is to avoid tooth-damaging sugar foods, including cakes and biscuits, and avoid citrus fruits,, tomatoes, milk and raw meats. Badgers love peanut butter and honey, but both sparingly and thinly spread on bread. They usually concentrate on dried pet food, peanuts, raisins and most fruit, including prunes and apples and pears sliced. In dry spells, fruit supplies much needed moisture along with, of course, bowls of water.
If you suspect that you are sharing your garden with badgers you should seek expert advice. A ‘sett’ is anywhere a might badger might be living, and might be natural or a man made structure.If you think there is a sett and it might be a problem, don’t try to interfere with it, you will not only break the law, but you can also make it worse. Contact us or your local badger group for help and advice. Many people live in their gardens happily with badgers. They are not a danger to pets, they would rather avoid cats and dogs and keep their distance. Badgers won’t harm you or pass on diseases.
Badgers will sometime dig underneath outbuildings, again contact your local group once again for advice and help. Finally, there is virtually no risk of catching tuberculosis from a badger in your garden, you would need to be very close contact with a badger with severe tuberculosis and they live in low numbers and usually close to farms.
Injured badgers in gardens
If you are lucky enough to own a garden swimming pool, it is worth remembering that sometimes badgers fall into or become trapped in swimming pools that have been emptied in winter. They will escape a plank if it is located on the exit route, but some are injured as they fall and will need help. Badgers sometimes retreat to the corner of a garden or enter a shed when they are unwell or injured in a road accident or fighting. Any kind of injured animals will snap and bite. So our advice is once again: get help from your local badger group, the Badger Trust, the RSPCA, a local sanctuary or vet.