Home The Sett
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Badgers live in a permanent home called a sett. In most cases the sett will be on a rising bank facing south, east or west, a dry well drained area not to far from fresh water and food. In the main badgers are looking for a dry solid roof, that is why badger setts in town appear under garages, sheds and other out houses. Often after their outlying setts have been destroyed, badgers are forced to use the next best site to make their home. There are several types of sett in the clan’s  territory. 

The Sett 1

 

A Badger Sett

Breeding Sett  

These are usually in continuous use with the greatest amount of activity throughout the spring and summer. These setts are often main setts.   

Main Setts

These setts usually have a large number of holes with conspicuous spoil heaps, some obviously very old. Many of the holes are rainbow shaped with ferns and mosses growing inside the entrances to the tunnels, the sett area generally looks very active i.e. well used scratching posts and clear signs of bedding collection. Also, well used paths can be seen going to and from the sett and between sett entrances.


The Sett 2

 

 Outlying setts

These usually only have 1,2 or 3 holes with small spoil heaps indicating a small tunnel system around about 20 to 30meters in total. These setts are often found on the outskirts of the clan’s territory and are used by young male badgers when they are evicted from the main sett area by the dominant male badger for varying periods of time. Young female badgers sometimes hide in outlying setts and have their cubs away from the dominant female who would, if she finds the young cubs, kill them.

 

The Sett 3

 

Subsidiary setts

These often only have a few holes, the average being 3-5 in most areas. They are usually at least fifty metres or more from the main sett, and have no obvious paths connecting them to any other sett. They are not in continuous use. There is always a good reason for these setts; sometimes changing underground water levels, and disagreements between clan members mean that these setts may be used for a year or so, and then left empty again.

 

The Sett 4

 

Annex setts

These are close to the main sett; probably there is some solid underground obstruction that prevents the two setts becoming one. The paths between the two setts are well worn and both areas are well used.

Badger Setts may consist of only 2 or 3 entrances, yet a number of badgers may be seen leaving from the same entrance one after the other. Other setts which may not have been disturbed for hundreds of years may run to seventy or more entrances. It is very important to remember that that all the setts In the Badger Clans territory are needed and should not be destroyed. Natural England issue licences to destroy Badger Setts believing.

 

The Sett 5

 

That is the end of the matter enormous cruelty takes place and almost on every occasion badgers endeavour to re-establish the sett some 5years down the line even when the original sett is situated underneath a house. To avoid the costs and avoid more cruelty to the badgers there are better options that Natural England could employ.

In the very old large setts badgers, rabbits and foxes will usually be using different parts of the setts, with badgers shifting to a fresh location periodically moving and cleaning out tunnels and sleeping chambers in another part of the sett. At a natural sett one can always tell when a sett is being used – broken cobwebs, newly thrown out soil and stones, old bedding and soil mixed in huge mounds besides the entrances. During most nights of activity, the badgers having digested their last feast and rested spend many hours cleaning out the tunnel system. The following evening if dry and warm, time will be spent collecting new materials grass leaves, bracken and even broken branches are taken down into the sett and laid out in the bedchambers. In some setts many of the tunnels are carpeted in grass and leaves in summer and autumn. Sometimes a single spoil heap amounts to more than five tons. The weight of this material on occasions collapses the tunnel underneath and the badgers have to dig a new entrance through the mound. This is the work of generations of badgers who have occupied their spare time in tidying up and enlarging their homes.