When Marcel moved into his house just outside of Bearsted five years ago he noticed his garden was a popular hedgehog destination.
“I started putting out food for the hedgehogs (up to six at a time). The more hedgehogs, the more food, until one night I noticed the hole under the fence where the hedgehogs gained entrance into the garden had got bigger. I kept watch the following night and found out why, my first badger! The same thing happened, the more food I put out the more badgers came to visit”.
Five years later and Marcel is putting on dinner parties for a community of badgers every single night. Marcel realised most people haven’t seen a badger in the flesh due to their unsociable nocturnal habits, so aided by a couple of cheap security cameras Marcel has started sharing these badger buffets that take place in his garden on the Facebook page Badgers of Bearsted and Beyond. Marcel has come to know his visitors so well that he recognises particular features and behaviour traits that have enabled him to name them, quite fantastically as well. For example the badger he refers to as ‘Biggs’ is named as such due to his big head, Beavis is easily identifiable as he is always first to arrive at the table, in contrast to Nerys who is nervous and takes forever before join the feast and then there is Biscuit who brings her cubs along.
So, Marcel, do you think Badgers are misunderstood by us?
I think people’s opinion of badgers differs depending on what side of the fence they sit. Farmers will always have a negative opinion; gardeners also negative because of the damage they cause. Cat owners because of the ‘they attack cats’. However, on a purely nature lovers’ basis they are fascinating! The fact that so many of us have never seen a living wild badger adds to their mystery and as you can see by the pictures alongside cats and foxes, yes probably misunderstood.
Your garden isn’t exclusive to badger buffets, is it? Other visitors are welcome and get on surprisingly well?
Foxes, cats, hedgehogs and badgers all welcome! I think one of the amazing sights on the ‘Badger garden restaurant’ is the interaction between the different species. They have one main aim which is to feed and they seem to be able to do that regardless of who is standing next to them!
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea and there will always be negative responses but there is enough people out there that love seeing it and amongst the chaos of the last few months it has bought a little calm and light relief which makes it worthwhile.
Find the Badgers of Bearsted and Beyond on Facebook.