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Winterwatch: the Pallinghurst Badgers.

Updated: Feb 13

2.6 million viewers tuned into the new BBC Two series of Winterwatch which launched this Tuesday, January 19th 2021.


One of presenter Chris Packham's top three moments from the previous series, was discovering a blond badger in his local area. A clip in this Tuesday's episode, showed the blond badger and his family playing around their large burrows (or setts), in the woodland.


Happily, one of the UK’s most enigmatic species, the Badger, is alive and judging from the active setts, thriving in Pallinghurst woods, Loxwood.


Strangely in the last public consultation zoom webinar held December 15th 2020, Protreat informed the audience that there was “No evidence of Badgers” Protreat Webinar 15 December 2020, slide 24. Independent report on ecology.


Shot just two days later, on 17/12/20, this video clearly shows active Badger setts in the woodland, very close to the proposed HGV lorry route. Watch our video to see more:

Most of us will rarely experience the delight of watching a badger emerge from its sett, cautiously scenting the night air, before coming above ground to do a bit of grooming, followed by some play and a night’s foraging.


Badgers foraging journeys will see them travel long distances along well-worn paths and trails that often have been used by generations of badgers. Paths similar to these ones seen in the photos below.


Regularly used paths tend to be well padded down from years of use and appear a little wider than other animal trails in the woodland, with mossy branches often rubbed clean from their low slung undercarriage.

Further signs include spotting bedding and piles of heaps of earth outside sett entrances, as seen in these photos taken on 09/01/21. Badgers are fastidious when it comes to keeping their sleeping quarters clean.

WHAT IS THE LAW? In 1992, the Protection of Badgers Act gave badgers and their setts across the UK unrivaled protection due to the sheer volume of cruelty and interference they were receiving..


This includes protection from intentional cruelty and from the results of lawful human activities such as development. Details of the Act can be found here. Badgers are also protected under Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which can be found here.

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, it is an offence to damage, destroy or block access to a badger sett, or to disturb badgers in their setts. Sett disturbance is the most reported criminal act to the Badger Trust. It comes in many forms and can fall under the category of both malicious and negligent crimes.


We encourage all residents walking in the woodland to treat the setts, with distance and respect, for a guaranteed chance to see badgers at play, keep warm and tune into BBC Winterwatch episode 1.



Sources:

https://www.badgertrust.org.uk/

https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/