Badgers usually live in woodland but you may find them in your garden as they move between setts or look for food. Some even set up home in a secluded areas of gardens, or on golf courses.
Badgers are active at dawn and dusk, but cubs may be seen foraging during daylight if food is scarce in the summer. They live in social groups of five to 12 and each group usually has one litter of between one and five cubs each year.
Providing supplementary food, in limited amounts, can be beneficial to badgers. Tinned cereal-based dog food with lightly-cooked meat, cheese, peanuts and fruit can help badger cubs survive hot dry summers and also help all badgers during cold, frosty periods.
But not everyone welcomes badgers and, if food is provided on a regular basis by a number of households, there is a risk that badgers may become a problem for some neighbours. This could lead to someone taking action against the animals.
The most humane and long-term solution to discourage badgers from your garden is to remove or prevent access to whatever attracts them to the area.
Food is the number one attraction; only provide food for wild birds on bird tables or in feeders and clear away windfall fruit. Make sure your dustbin is securely sealed with an expanding strap.
To stop badgers getting in to your vegetable patch, use electrified flexinet fencing (pegged down along its length to prevent badgers squeezing underneath) or two strands of electrified Polywire at 7.5-20cm above ground.
Badgers may dig up lawns for insect larvae, or for a latrine to mark their territories, although this behaviour is largely seasonal. Latrines are most conspicuous in the spring and autumn, with lawn digging in late autumn and early spring. As damage is limited to certain times of the year, many gardeners find it easier to tolerate the nuisance.
To download a copy of the RSPCA's badger factsheet, click here.