Badger - Meles meles


    Badgers have a characteristic black and white striped face with small white-tipped ears and grey body, though their fur can become stained by the local soil. The Badger is a stocky animal, being about 75 cm in length (from head to tail), once fully grown. You can tell by its appearance that the badger is a digger. The body is wedge-shaped and is carried on short but immensely strong legs - excellent for working in confined spaces. The muscles of the forelimbs and neck are particularly well developed.

    Identification difficulty

    Deciduous woods, copses and hedgerows are the most usual locations for setts - especially if this is near open cultivated land.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    Badgers live in groups, sharing a sett (this consists of several underground chambers where the badger sleeps and breeds). Setts are handed down like family houses from generation to generation, and the badger uses the same sett year after year. Mortality is high, with perhaps half of all badgers dying each year. Road traffic accidents with motor vehicles are a major cause of death. The maximum life expectancy of a badger is about 14 years, though very few survive so long in the wild. There are usually 2 or three cubs in a litter but just one is not unusual. Weaning usually begins when the cubs are at least three months old, when they feed on solid food, particularly earthworms and berries in season.

    UK Status

    Widespread across England and Wales with a fewer in Scotland. Most common in the south west of England and uncommon in East Anglia.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map