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Help & Reference : Learn About Nature : Reference Guide : Mammals : Badger


Common name: Badger

Also known as: Eurasian badger, European badger,
brock and earth pig
Scientific name: Meles meles
Size: Up to 80cm in length
Weight: Up to 8-12kgs when mature (males larger than females)
Colour: Head has white cheeks and white centre stripe with black stripes over each eye and white tipped ears. The body is grey and the belly and legs are black.
Life span: May live for up to 14 years


A strong, sturdy noctural mammal. It has a blunt tail, short powerful legs and sharp, long claws. It's pointy striped face is probably it's most recognisable feature.


Found throughout the UK in rural and urban environments. We have at least three badger setts in the land surrounding Corfe Mullen, and I have seen and heard them many times. I have also seen one in my garden in Corfe Mullen.


Being an omnivore they will eat almost anything. However in the UK they eat mostly worms, insects, small mammals, fungi, fruit and bulbs.


They dig underground homes called "setts" in well drained areas, usually on a slope. This might be in a wood, a quarry, cliff or hedge. They have lots of different entrances to their setts, and long tunnels joining them together (sometimes 18m long). They may also use other outlying smaller setts during different times of the year. They are sometimes seen at dusk, but mainly feed at night.

Did you know

Generations of badgers may have used a sett, and it can be many centuries old.

It is a very clean mammal, often changing the bedding in the sett daily. However, they do suffer from fleas a lot and spend a lot of their time grooming and scratching.

A group of badgers is known as a clan.




Extra Information

Wild About Britain

Dorset Badger Group