Welcome to the Northamptonshire Badger Group survey hosted by Northamptonshire Biodiversity Records Centre (NBRC)
We need your help to find badgers!
Badgers are an iconic British wild mammal. Members of the mustelid family, with their characteristic black and white stripe – they are one of the UK’s largest land predators and are a protected species. Badgers are active at night and their main diet is earthworms, consuming over 200 a night. They live in mixed social groups called clans and reside in underground tunnels and chambers called a Sett. They play an important role in seed dispersal and germination and help keep a natural balance and control of insects. They are also exceptional diggers and engineers of the natural landscape.
Why we need your help:
The records you submit to the record centre in this collaborative survey will be shared with the Northamptonshire Badger Group. This group hold records of badger activity across the county, provides advice, and organises rescue and rehabilitation. Your help is needed to increase and update their records. As a small community group, they rely on volunteers and members of the public to report badger information. Records of badger activity in the southern half of the county are particularly needed.
The protection of badgers Act 1992 legally protects them and their setts. Despite this, land development, sett blocking and roads continue to threaten the species. Therefore, it is so important that we have accurate, up to date sightings and badger activity records in order to understand the full picture of activity across the county. This data can be used by NBRC partners in responsible decision making for the conservation of Northamptonshire’s protected and notable species, and can help the Northamptonshire Badger Group in advocacy and local protection of the species.
How you can help:
If you see any badger signs including a dead badger on the road (from a road traffic accident), a badger sett, a latrine (badger toilet pit) or a footprint, you can report it here using the submission form below to add it to our records.
Badger Activity Clues:
BADGER: One feature that immediately distinguishes the badger is its colouration, particularly on its face. The black and white striped head of the badger is distinctive. As an adult they can be up to 1m long. In making your record, tell us how many badgers you have seen, and if known whether they are adults or cubs. Training is advised to correctly identify the sex of a badger, if uncertain do not include this in the record.
LATRINE: Badgers dig a small pit to defecate in. They use this pit multiple times and do not cover it over with soil like a cat generally would. You can find one latrine or multiple latrines together. If you can see obvious content this can be additionally useful, along with how fresh the deposit is.
SETT: Most badger tunnels have a distinctive shape, being wider than they are tall, with a flattened base. The tunnels excavated by badgers are around 30cm in diameter, certainly no smaller than 25cm in diameter. Sett entrances normally have a spoil heap which is the soil that has been excavated by the badger. The spoil often contains old bedding (grass, ferns etc) and can have hairs in it also.
FOOTPRINT: A badgers footprint is very distinctive, it consists of a broad kidney shaped pad, with 5 toes lined up in front, the front feet are larger and the claws longer. Often the fifth toe (the inner toe), which is slightly smaller and set further back, does not show up, and the print may have only four toe marks. The fact that toes are arranged in a line clearly identifies the print as badger: dogs, foxes and cats have four-toed prints, but their toes are arranged in an arc around an oval or three lobed pads. A scratch mark is also distinctive as the marks are parallel.
Please provide as much information as possible about your sighting and remember that we are specifically looking for records that fall within the Northamptonshire county boundary.
Safety Note: If recording whilst travelling on or by the road please only enter details as a passenger or when you are stationary.
For roadside sightings it is helpful to give a description of a landmark in your location details, meters to/from a named junction and the road name, and the side of the road seen. A description of condition, and date when killed or found is also helpful. If the animal is found injured please contact the Northamptonshire Badger Group directly.
For sett records it is helpful to supply both a close up photo evidence of the sett entrance and a wide ‘location’ evidence photo with any landmarks/notable landscape features. Any other signs, such as fresh latrines, hair and spoil heaps are additionally useful, as well as any interference with the set. A landowner name (with their permission) is also very helpful information.
Please submit your records using the submission form below.
If this is your first record submission, please read our quick guide to Using the NBRC Website to Submit Biological Records.