....and much more common now, than hedgehogs.The density of badgers in bTb hotspots surveyed last year by the Central Science Laboratory, has found that badgers are now more common than foxes, hares or deer and certainly the hedgehog. They conclude that this dramatic increase is in direct correlation to the decline of hedgehogs in pasture land. Some were found in 'amenity grassland' , and by that we assume the authors mean parks and playing fields, but in Devon and Gloucestershire not a single little Mrs. (or Mr.) Tiggywinkle was recorded on pasture land.
We are aware that people involved in hedgehog rescue schemes, are warned that if a badger sett is within a certain distance from their dwelling, then rescuing hedgehogs is not something in which they can be involved. "We are not allowed to" one lady told us. The reason is that to the all powerful, omnivourous badger, a hedgehog is merely a quite large, prickly orange, to be rolled over and peeled. Alive.
The survey was conducted during spring and autumn of 2006, ahead of any possible change in 'management' policy of badgers, as a precurser to assessing any change in population status and in the areas surveyed, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Hereford, the badger population outweighed foxes - and certainly hedgehogs.
Full report can be found on the