Billy Badger's Home Page
| Have you always lived in
Rossendale? | | Do you have a home?
| | Where is your home? |
| Why are some people so cruel to you? | | How many babies do you have? |
| Why are you black and white with such little ears? | | Do you fight? |
| What do you eat? | | Why do you dig holes in people's lawns? | | Do you sleep all winter? |
My great, great, great, great grandfather, and his great, great, great, great grandfather before him lived in Rossendale. It's now just over a hundred years since cruel men killed the last of my relatives who lived here, but 50 years ago some of us were brought from farms in Cheshire and started a new life here. Many of us get killed on the roads, so ask mum and dad to drive carefully. To top of page
I certainly do! And very snug it is too. I live underground in a home called a sett. We have lots of digging to do and the soil in Rossendale is very hard, with lots of stones as well. It's a good job that we have very powerful claws. We can't pull our claws in like cats do. We need them all the time anyway because we're always digging! We're very clean animals too. I use straw, dry grass or hay as my bedding and we take it outside to dry in warm weather. We also have an outside toilet. Sometimes we share parts of our home with foxes, and we usually put up with it. To top of page
Let's just say I live somewhere in Rossendale. I won't tell you exactly where, because some people are very cruel and dig into our homes or send their dogs into our underground tunnels to attack us. I prefer to live in a wooded area with soft soil to dig in, but there isn't much of that in this part of Lancashire, so many of us have to live out on the open moors. Some of my family live in old mine shafts. It's a pretty tough life being a Rossendale badger, but we have a thick coat that keeps out most of the cold and rain and many people put out food in their garden for us. To top of page
I don't really know. It's just in their nature for some humans to be cruel, but most people think we are gorgeous, and so does my wife Bessy. These cruel people would probably bully other humans if they were brave enough, but of course they're not. It's all very sad, as we have no other enemies at all. The police and other people check our homes regularly to make sure that they haven't been disturbed by men and their dogs. People who kill us or injure us can be sent to prison. To top of page
Mrs. B. usually has between one and three babies a year. We call them cubs, but when they're naughty and fight, we call them lots of other not very pleasant names as well. The baby cubs are born in early spring. Mrs. Badger (Bessy) feeds them on milk at first and when they're old enough we take them out with us looking for food. To top of page
I like my ears, thank you very much. If they were bigger they'd get in the way of my digging. My colours mean that I can't be seen very easily in moonlight and shadow. I don't use my ears and eyes all that much anyway, but, as I mentioned before, I have very powerful claws for digging. I can smell really well. I can even smell humans. You were unkind about my ears, so I thought I should tell you that you smelled! To top of page
Sometimes the young cubs get a bit rough with each other and their toy fights can get a bit out of hand. You need to be tough though to survive as a badger. Usually we're quite timid and will run away from trouble. We only fight if feel threatened or are not able to run away. We sometimes fight badgers from another sett. A few weeks ago I had a fight with another badger because he was on my territory and eating my peanuts! There was so much noise that the humans came out to see what was going on. Then we both ran away. A pity really, because I was winning! To top of page
We all love worms, the more the better, but we will
eat almost anything. I love peanuts and dog food. Some people feed
us cake and biscuits. We will eat those as well, but it's not very
good for our teeth so don't tempt us! Some badger
books say that we like slugs, but whenever I see them on my feeding
dish, I leave them alone, as they taste so awful.
To top of page
Worms live underground. Did I tell you I love worms? If we see worms or beetles on the lawn we just can't resist digging for them. Before your lawn and house were built, the area was full of fields. We hunted in those and we will still hunt there. Some of my relatives will eat bigger animals such as hedgehogs, but I can't find any in Whitworth. To top of page
Most people think that we sleep all winter (or hibernate as you humans call it) but that's not true. We eat a lot in autumn and don't go outside as much in winter if it's very cold and wet. It seems a very sensible thing to do. You might not see as much of me from November to March, but I'm there, warm and snug underground! To top of page
If you see footprints like those below in your garden, they're mine!
One of my cousins has had his pictured published in a book called Wild Valley. There's lots of other Rossendale wildlife in the book as well, but we badgers are the best! You can also see pictures of me in one of the local gardens enjoying my supper.
Billy Badger's spokesman (i.e. me!) has been interviewed by Liz Catlow of Radio Lancashire about the Rossendale badgers.