Badgers | Wildlife & Habitats | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Physical features

Badgers are easy to identify. They have a greyish body, dark haired legs and underparts, and a white head with a dark stripe over the eye on both sides. The average length of an adult badger is 69 - 71 cm, making it one of the larger wild animals in Britain .
Badgers are powerfully built with short but very strong limbs and sharp clawed feet. The small head, short neck, long wedge shaped body and very short tail make badgers excelent diggers, able to move heavy material in confined spaces. They have poor eyesight as they are nocturnal and most of their time is spent underground in their setts, however their poor eyesight is compensated for by their acute hearing and excellent sense of smell. Badgers are very heavy for their size. Their weight changes frequently depending on the food available in their area, and also on the time of year. On average an adult badger will weigh between 6.5 and 13.9 kilograms. 


Badgers are scattered around Great Britain , being most common in the south and south-western counties of England and Wales . Their wide range of habitats includes woods, copses, hedgerows, quarries, sea cliffs and moorland. Occasionally they will make their setts on the embankments of canals, railways and roads, Iron Age forts, mines, rubbish dumps, coal tips, in gardens and under major roads and buildings.
The reason for their success is their amazing adaptability to different habitats. Their sets are a system of complex tunnels and chambers often with several entrances. Grass, bracken and leaves are used to line the chambers for bedding.


Badgers are omnivores feeding mainly on earthworms. They also commonly take young rabbits, mice, rats, voles, moles, hedgehogs, frogs, slugs, and snails. Occasionally they will take poultry and eggs. The plant food they eat includes most fruits, acorns, bulbs, oats and wheat. 


Badgers give birth to between 1 and 5 cubs during the January to March period. The birth usually takes place in the underground chambers; this is where the cubs will remain until they are about 8 weeks old. 

Badgers and the law

In the past badgers were often seen as a pest; the main complaints being that they would eat poultry, roll in the corn and eat the grain, sometimes kill lambs, and occasionally eat partridge and pheasant eggs.
Because of the damage that badgers were thought to be creating, people began to use different methods to control them.
However in 1973 a law was introduced with regard to the control of badgers. The Badgers Act, 1973, amended by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and replaced again by the Badgers Act 1992 means that badgers and their setts are fully protected.

You can also download and print this Badgers fact sheet

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