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NEWS RELEASE No: 1542330 APRIL 2012

Magical mystery badger tours in local forest

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Badgers emerge from their sett in a North Yorkshire wood

Nature fans are being offered a close encounter with badgers deep in a Forestry Commission woodland in North Yorkshire.

Mystery tours led by Scarborough expert Jane Payne begin in mid-May and run until August revealing the highs and low of badger family life.

Strikingly coloured, the creature is one of England’s largest wild mammals – yet spotting one can be really tough.

They spend long hours underground in their multi-chambered setts, which can be hundreds of years old, and are mainly active during the night.

Jane Payne explained:

“My children went to see badgers when they were just six years old and that helped to get me hooked.  Since then studying and observing the animal has become a real passion. Watching them in the forest is magical.“

Cubs born in February will be taking their first few steps outside the sett in April and May, emerging as night falls. 

Still being weaned by mum, she will teach them how to dig for food like worms.  By the year’s end, male offspring are often shown the door, as Dad doesn’t want to be challenged.  But adults may also be keeping their own secrets from each other – cubs often have different fathers!   

Jane continued

“We will be visiting a Forestry Commission hide in a remote wood, overlooking a den which has been used for well over 100 years by generations of badger.  We get people coming from all over the UK and even further afield.  Keeping the location secret helps protect the animal from illegal persecution.”

To check dates and times call 01723 882295, or email  Meeting details will be given at the time of booking. The event is suitable for adults and children over 10 years old (who must be accompanied).

Note to editor

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For more information go to

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038.