Sett surveying and fieldwork

We are putting a guide together but in the meantime recommend you visit the Scottish Badger Trust survey information page. Once you have found your sett please send us a report. Enjoy watching !

Ten point guide to badger watching

1.  Firstly, locate your Badger sett. Try and see if it's active before proceeding, to save later disappointment, e.g. check for signs of fresh bedding (usually straw, maybe leaves, bracken) left outside the main entrance at the end of the mound of freshly dug earth, fresh dung located in nearby dung pits, paw prints, hairs, claw marks on nearby trunks of trees etc.

 

 

2. Obtain permission to watch from the Landowner.

 

 

3. Assess sett to see where the best vantage points are in relation to the main or active entrances, prior to the day of the watch - this lessens the chances of the Badgers detecting your scent, and either retreating back down the sett or else trotting off as soon as they emerge. Vantage points include sitting up a tree or sitting on the ground and leaning up against one. This hides your silhouette and also reduces back-ache!

 

 

4. Stay downwind, so that the badgers don't detect your scent. (Don't wear perfume, aftershave or smoke!). This may mean changing your chosen position on the day, depending on the direction of the wind. Best if you can be above the sett entrances i.e. on top of a bank, so if the wind changes while you are watching, and gust round the site, your scent still rises up and away without detection. Try to position yourself 10m or so away to start with. Hides are unnecessary and may attract other people's attention.

 

 

5. Wear warm clothes. Also the less rustling and the duller and darker the better for camouflage. Balaclavas serve a dual purpose of keeping out the cold and biting midges. Wear, or take with you, for just-in-case, some insect repellant especially if it is hot.

 

 

6. Take a box of matches (to check wind direction), binoculars (8 x 56 work well at dusk), camera, notebook and a torch (to see your way home). Also take a cushion to sit on, and if you're not climbing a tree take a chair! (a fold up garden one or a fisherman's stool). N.B. A red filter on your torch will not disturb the Badgers.

 

 

7. Time your arrival for roughly an hour before dusk, when the Badgers are most likely to emerge - you'll be sitting quietly by the time they come out. May and June are good months to start watching, you may have the added bonus of seeing cubs - which if present tend to make the adults come out early to get a break from the "kids". If you can stick the cold, February is a good month for courting behavior.

 

 

8. Once positioned, try and keep still, making as little noise as possible. Resist the temptation to talk or even whisper to your companion(s).

 

 

9. After you have finished watching, leave quietly and discreetly.

 

10. Send a copy of your records to OBG - see Sett Observation Form

1 Membership fees are payable annually. Donations are always very welcome