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Things That Go Poo In The Night

2nd of November 2007

Many people who walk across ” our” footpath (from the Land Rover garage to Scatterdells Lane) have noticed the large number of small shallow pits that have been dug in recent weeks. They are 4 to 6 inches deep, some filled with dark coloured poo, but not all. These are the handywork of the local badger population, and judging by the number of pits and poo there must be quite a few about!

Badgers are very clean animals and always use latrines, as these pits are known. They use them as boundary markers, to tell other badgers this is their territory. They usually have one close to the sett, for convenience, and recently research has shown that they have them along trails that are used by more than one group of badgers. These trails often lead to easy food sources, perhaps where someone is regularly putting out food for them. I think our latrines come into this last category. The badgers can tell who is about from the different scents and how long ago they “passed” by! I am a bit mystified that they do not all contain poo, but I suppose they could dig up a worm or grub and use the hole on another visit.

We can tell what they have been eating by taking a closer look. At the moment Sloes seem to be top of the pops, the poos are full of Sloe stones. Some have raided someone’s Sweet Corn and the dark bits contain a lot of beetle bodies. They also like worms and apple and pear windfalls. They take full advantage of autumn’s bounty in an effort to put on weight for the winter. They do not hibernate as such but a good layer of fat means they do not have to go out in bad weather. A bit like stocking up the larder really.

Wendy Bathurst

This page is edited by Tony

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