Yew View Badgers
As featured on BBC Springwatch 2022
As featured on Steve Backshaw's , Badgers - Their Secret World
In 2015, I had a grand dream... to build an artificial badger sett, in which I would put cameras. We knew we had badgers in another old artificial sett on the grounds of Yew View, so I started planning! With help from Jason Fathers from Wildlife Windows, we created a two chamber sett, using sleepers and drainage pipes. I designed a system to mount the cameras so I could easily remove them for cleaning and maintenance. It took us several days, after the land had been cleared. It was a big project, with no guarantee of success... but I like to dream big! In 2021, we had some cubs born, but sadly they were killed after jut a couple of days, by a passing male. In 2022, I changed one of the cameras for a new PTZ cam, meaning I could move it around, zoom and focus . Before I had a chance to replace the other camera, a female moved in. We call her Peggy. We recognise her by her torn ear.
On Feb 14th, 2021, she gave birth to cubs in the chamber, in front of the new camera. It was a dream come true and I could not quite believe what I was watching. There is a chance that I am the first person to film a wild badger give birth before so this is pretty special! We called the cubs Romeo and Valentine due to their birthday and Peggy successfully raised the cubs and I filmed them until she moved them when they were 8 weeks old.
She did not reappear in 2023, until 19th April, when she bought her new cubs to one of the chambers. These cubs look to be about 8 weeks old. We are not sure where she gave birth, but we are delighted she has returned to this chamber, even if it is just for a short time, with her new family!
I delighted to say that BBC Springwatch featured the story of our YewView badgers on Springwatch 2022, after a badger gave birth in the artificial sett that we created at Yew View. This is thought to be the first time anyone has ever filmed a WILD badger give birth and raise her family.
In 2023, I filmed with Althena films, to help create the a programme all about badgers, for Channel 5.
Badgers - Their Secret World
In this unique two part special, Steve Backshall reveals the secret lives of one of the most iconic yet elusive species – the badger. The series takes us through the lifecycle of these incredible creatures from mating to unique gestating and unusual habitats.
With cameras rigged both in and outside of badger setts across the country we open up their secret world to see badger behaviour at its wildest - watching their big families, witnessing their big personalities and discovering their big appetites!
We learn family dynamics from the offset - witnessing one of the only known wild badger births caught on camera, getting to know mum and her babies over the first year of their lives, and meeting a playful clan that has been filmed for over a decade. Steve guides us through the lifecycle of these incredible creatures from mating to unique gestating, olfactory communication, home networks and housekeeping and discovering unusual habits and habitats.
As well as the wild footage we tackle the persecution badgers face from TB to baiting and meet the rescue centres, experts and enthusiasts who are working tirelessly to protect these wonderful creatures.
You can watch the series by clicking on the links below (until Dec 2026)
Yew View Badger Feeding Station
We put out peanuts and fruit and sometimes eggs at this feeding station in the garden at Yew View. The badgers, foxes and even muntjac visit as soon as it starts to get dark. Peggy and both cubs still visit on a regular basis.
Inside the sett These are WILD badgers, so come and go as they choose.
To see more blog posts about the badger sett and what I have filmed, check out my blog posts
Badger Cubs in our Sett 2022
Behind the Scenes: Building the YewView Badger Sett
Thank you to Jason Fathers, from Wildlife Windows, who helped with the construction of this sett.