Watching badgers in their natural environment is a great way to observe natural behaviours. Remember to not disturb any badgers while they're out of the sett or encourage them to approach you, these are wild animals that are best enjoyed being wild!
- Find a badger sett. The ideal sett is in the open where you can watch using binoculars from a distance of 50m away. Such setts are few so visit your chosen active sett during the mornings.
- Ideal season is spring and summer.
- Decide on the sett’s most active area - one with padded down earth, and/or fresh digging and bedding.
- Walk around sett area to find viewing spots downwind according to various wind directions. Practice safest, quietest routes in.
- Allow several days to pass before watching.
- Check weather forecast, avoid rainy or windy weather.
- Arrive 1 hour before sunset.
- Wear warm, dark, quiet clothing and boots. Remember insect repellent.
- Remember to take binoculars if you have them (best for low light are 8x40s) and something comfy like a foam square to sit on.
- Near sett check wind and move to be downwind or cross wind.
- You can take a handful of peanuts to put near the sett to see the badgers feed. Do not attempt to bribe the badgers closer to you with food.
- Sit or stand in front of a tree rock or bank to avoid being silhouetted against lighter background.
- Wait, listen, and watch. Patience!
- Freeze when badger emerges until it settles to groom or forage.
- Now you can breathe again!
- Eventually badgers will trot away to forage and this is the time to creep away.
If you are taking a camera with you, you can view our best practice guidelines on badger photography here.