Keith Ball (August)
We came across this excavation whilst out on the expedition phase of a Mountain Leader assessment last week. It was at over 600m above sea level, so we were a bit surprised to find what we can only think is an attempted Badgers sett. No other burrowing mammal could have moved pieces of rock of this size.
Generally Badgers are found in deciduous woods, copses and hedgerows - especially if this is near open cultivated land. Badgers have a widespread distribution in the UK, with more in the remote areas of the south and south-west, and fewer in flat and farmed areas.
The Badger grows up to 30 inches (750 mm) from head to tail - with a six-inch (150 mm) tail, and weighs up to about 10 to 12 kg. The female badger is slightly smaller than the male.
Although the badger is classed as a carnivore (it has large canine teeth), it is essentially omnivorous. As well as earthworms, beetles, voles, mice, frogs, snails and wasps, it also eats acorns, beech mast, bulbs, fruits and roots.
Badgers live in groups of up to 15 in an earthen sett. The sett is lined with moss and grass which the badger renews frequently. There will also be a special nesting chamber off the regular sett.
This excavation only had two small burrows and we could only guess that they gave up and moved on after hitting too much bedrock.