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The European badger is a member of the musk bearing carnivores' group called Mustelidae, which also includes otters, pine martens, stoats and weasels. Badgers differ from their cousins in three respects. Being omnivorous, they are able to forage over a smaller range, live in a permanent home for most of their lives and form close knit clans that protect their home ranges with great vigour. Several clans or small family groups are also members of larger social groups, depending mainly on one major factor; a safe water supply in drought conditions. 

The Badger, now mainly nocturnal, is the largest member of this family in Britain. Adult badgers in this area vary in weight. Out in the countryside, 11 to 15 kilos is the average weight for the road casualties that we encounter. In towns, badgers weighing 22 to 25 kilos are not uncommon. From the tip of an adult male badger’s nose to the root of its tail, the body measures approximately 75 cm long, with the tail adding another 15 cm. Female badgers are slightly smaller and lighter. Like most species of animals, there are very large adult badgers, some very strikingly handsome female badgers and some quite small badgers, so occasionally size helps us to identify exactly where a road casualty comes from.


The Badger


Badgers have lived successfully in Britain for over 250 thousand years. Though now scarce or utterly exterminated in many parts of the British Isles, there are still large populations of badgers across Kent and Sussex, with large population pockets in the West Country. Locally there are several good reasons for this. The Ashdown Sands are a mixture of Argillius Clays and Sand Stone. Wadhust Clay, very tight sticky clay is the surface soil in parts of the town; below this layer are clay sand mixes, sand lenses and seams of hard clays that hold up water. The water washed hillsides ridges, gulls and glens found across Hastings Borough and Rother District suit Brocks subterranean civil engineering activities.  The Wadhurst clay provides a good waterproof roof; the sand lenses allow fast easy digging with the sand clay mixes yielding strong tunnel support. The frequent spring lines gave the wildlife ample supplies of fresh water in times of drought. Badgers are able to dig tunnels quite fast in most of their preferred sites, in sandy banks below maturing trees and similar safe places partly depending on food and fresh water being readily available.