Naturally shy and nervous,
badgers don’t deserve their reputation of being aggressive animals and it is their
retiring and wary nature that makes them difficult to spot for wildlife
enthusiasts. Unfortunately, these
animals need to be cautious, as most people’s sightings of badgers are lifeless
at the roadside with around 50,000 adult badgers and cubs killed on British
roads annually. Add in the threat to the badger population of illegal badger
baiting and loss of their natural environments due to human activity – the
survival of this iconic British mammal is an issue.
Thankfully, badgers are safeguarded
by a number of laws, most importantly the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, which
has made badger baiting and digging illegal. These laws make it an offence to
damage, destroy or obstruct badger setts with heavy fines and prison sentences
for anyone convicted and the good news is that this protection has encouraged
the previously declining badger population in the UK to dramatically increase.
Working hard to encourage the
right environment for badgers to thrive, at Landal Gwel an Mor we are fortunate
to have three active setts onsite at the resort, with one in particular right
next to our Feadon Farm wildlife centre. The badgers from this sett regularly
come to our feeding station and often recorded on our trail cameras as well as
being observed by lucky visitors on our Badger Watch, where visitors get to
learn all about these magnificent woodland creatures.
This time of year is a particularly good time for
spotting badgers on our watches as the surviving young will be out and about
foraging with the sow, the female badger. Sadly, nearly 50% of cubs never live
long enough to see the outside world so it is a delight to see the young out of
their set and healthy.
The Badger Watches at Feadon Farm
run all year round and we like to do things a bit different here. No crouching in the woods in the rain, our
badger experiences involve sitting in a warm, dry hide drinking hot chocolate
and eating cake. Whilst waiting for the badgers to emerge to snack on the
peanuts we have provided, there is video footage to watch and learn the habits
of our badgers from previous nights. Seeing badgers for the first time and
watching them going about their natural activities is a truly memorable and
unique experience. For really lucky visitors to Feadon Farm, the badgers often get
extremely close for observation – just inches away – as they will come up and
lick peanut butter from the hide window, which is a truly unforgettable happening.
To join a Feadon Farm Badger Watch or any of their other ranger guided wildlife experiences
call 01209 842354 – wildlife activities are £8 for kids, £13 for adults