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Showing posts from February, 2015

Camera Trap at the Badger Sett

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It’s been too cold for me to attempt any badger watching recently, but I’ve been putting out peanuts for the local badgers and leaving my camera trap to see what’s going on. Last year there were four adults in the sett at the start of the year and they produced six cubs, so it was rather crowded by autumn. I expect some of the cubs will have dispersed to other setts by now. It would be very interesting to find out which cubs have gone where, but it’s very difficult to track them around here, due to the number of landowners. They could well be on private land which I don’t have access to.

Two badgers share the peanuts
Dry leaves will make comfortable bedding material
I’m hoping for more cubs this year of course. They’ll be born around now and will stay underground until the end of April or early May, when I’ll be out hoping to see their first emergence from the sett. For now, there are few clues as to what’s going on underground. One end of the sett has always been used as the ‘nursery en…

Appleton Mill Farm

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I’d been watching the weather forecast, expecting today’s work day to be called off, but it went ahead anyway. It was snowing when Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s field officer picked me up this morning for our day at Appleton Mill, near Pickering. He’d had a report that the Hebridean sheep at Jeffry Bog nature reserve were being worried by a dog. It was on our way, so we called in there first to check on them. The sheep were settled when we arrived and all seemed to be OK. We moved them onto another field, where the grazing was better for them.

Thankfully, the sheep were OK
We reached Appleton Mill farm, at about 10:30, to find a good turnout of volunteers busy planting trees to fill gaps in a hedge. The farm is the Trust’s base for the sheep and cattle that carry out conservation grazing on many of the reserves. It’s a working farm, but managed in the most wildlife friendly way. The fields are planted up with wild flower mixes that not only provide excellent cattle fodder, but are good for…