Brock the badger is one of the most easily recognised UK mammals and the largest land carnivore, yet most people will only have seen one as a sad casualty at the side of the road, or caught in the headlights bumbling across a country lane. Nocturnal and usually shy of people, watching badgers on their home turf is a real eye opener, and it's impossible not to start to get to know all the different characters in a badger family!
Set up a night-watch on a sett and be enchanted by badgers going about their business.
Find badgers near you
For some of the best opportunities to see them and watch their fascinating behaviour, join us or your local badger group for badger watching events. Search our What's On pages to see what's coming up - or contact one of the Wildlife Trusts below:
Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Between April and October you can see badgers up close from Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s specially designed mammal hide at Tewin Orchard near Welwyn. It’s one of the most magical wildlife watching experiences, with badgers coming within a few feet - as close as you are ever likely to experience! You will see other wildlife too including mice, rabbits, foxes, deer, and occasionally, barn owls.
The hide is available to book for groups of up to 12 at a time, through Herts and Middlesex Badger Group and the Wildlife Trust also hosts special evenings there - check the Trust’s event page to book.
Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Badger watching is also on the menu at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust's reserve at Rutland Water. The badger hide is situated close to the sett and here you can enjoy fantastic views as our resident family venture out on their evening forage. The Badger Watch evenings start at around dusk and go on for approximately two hours. Not only do you have a chance to see badgers, but also other nocturnal creatures. Previous highlights include tawny owls, barn owls, bats, foxes and muntjac deer. The hide is open in both Autumn and Spring and can be booked via the website.
Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Scottish Wildlife Trust
The Scottish Wildlife Trust runs a series of events from June through to August at the Falls of Clyde (New Lanark), which give fantastic opportunities for observing badgers. You can go on a 45 minute guided walk through the reserve, looking for nocturnal animals on the way, before arriving at the badger viewing area. June is the best time to be in with a chance of seeing the cubs. If you prefer a more luxurious experience, you can book a Luxury Badger Safari and be driven by the ranger to within five minutes of the viewing area. Cosy blankets, drinks and a souvenir are included! To book on an event, please visit here. Alternatively, you can contact the Ranger to arrange your own badger watch on a date that suits you.
What to look for
Badgers are very sociable, living in large family groups that inhabit an extensive burrow system called a "sett" for many generations, emerging at dusk to feed. Badger society is tightly knit, and watching them socialise before heading out for the night is fascinating. Get to know the family, watching them chat, groom, play, fight, and scratch together! Dress in dark clothing made of soft material that doesn’t rustle too much. Keep the noise down, don’t use torches or flash photography, and sit so that the wind is blowing from the sett towards you, not the other way round.
If you can't get to these places
Away from their setts, badger can sometimes be encouraged to feeding stations, and are particularly partial to peanuts. If you plan to tempt some badgers into your own garden, be warned: a family of visiting badgers can be bad news for your lawn and flower beds.