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Farmers here around 5 years ago were getting 100% grants for ripping out mature hedgerows, putting up parallel runs of sheep wire and planting single sprigs of hawthorn about 5 feet apart.

When 100 acres is paved and 500 houses put on it, are badgers really urbanised or are they staying in the same areas they once lived?

The sprawl around where I'm sitting at the minute is sickening.
I think the story around agriculture here may be different in southern England from where you are, JS. In 2003 the CAP subsidy payment system changed and the Countryside Stewardship scheme incentivised environmental benefits rather than pure agricultural production. You can certainly argue about the effectiveness of the scheme, but if anything I'd have thought that under it we would now have slightly more areas that ought to offer hedgehog habitat than 20 years ago, rather than less. Yet I'm sure the hedgehogs have declined in that time.

The urban badgers that I saw weren't in an area of new development; it's probably a mix of 19th and 20th Century houses in the main. So I'd say that it's definitely a case of the badgers becoming either bolder or more numerous, and moving into established urban areas, rather than the town moving into their territory.
 

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I think the story around agriculture here may be different in southern England from where you are, JS. In 2003 the CAP subsidy payment system changed and the Countryside Stewardship scheme incentivised environmental benefits rather than pure agricultural production. You can certainly argue about the effectiveness of the scheme, but if anything I'd have thought that under it we would now have slightly more areas that ought to offer hedgehog habitat than 20 years ago, rather than less. Yet I'm sure the hedgehogs have declined in that time.

The urban badgers that I saw weren't in an area of new development; it's probably a mix of 19th and 20th Century houses in the main. So I'd say that it's definitely a case of the badgers becoming either bolder or more numerous, and moving into established urban areas, rather than the town moving into their territory.
Things are definitely different here CharlieH.

We used to have a lot of 'set aside' where farmers got paid for leaving wee pockets of ground to go wild. Our single farm payments too were paid for the total acerage of ground a farmer had.

This changed a few years ago when the Sinn Fein agriculture minister changed the payment system.

Until then, good ground that produced the most yeilds got higher payments than hill farms for grazing for example. She changed it so that all land was payed at the same level provided it was being used. So, set aside was scrapped and any land deemed unfarmable, was deducted from the payments.

Within months, we'd lost more Heather moorland and wee havens for wildlife. Either mowed to the clay or ploughed in. If a mature tree was growing in the middle of a field and you couldn't drive a tractor under it, you lost the area from your payment. If you had a hedge that grew out into the field, you lost that area from your payment. If you had a wooded area on your land, you lost that area from your payment. We lost more hedgerows and trees in those few months than we had in the previous 30 years.

I really don't blame the farmers as it was thrust upon them. That is before you get into development and house building.

To hear people come on the local radio now and bemoan the lack of wildlife... How could there be wildlife?
 
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There are dozens of dead badgers lying at roadsides all over Lanarkshire. Killed by cars ?? I know of one family [badgers] living in the middle of Paisley where the house holder has a camera fitted to watch them. His neighbours have never seen them.
Countryfile goes on about leaving headlands were wild life can live and breed. Idea dinner tables for badgers/foxes and in some cases pine martins.
We have to live with all creatures but some need to be "managed"?
Bob.
 

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"Hedgehog numbers are recovering where badgers have been culled."
If anyone knows of the evidence that supports this statement please post.

In a lifetime of living and working in the countryside I have never once seen evidence of a badger having eaten a hedgehog.
The widespread use of slug pellets has been claimed by some to be the cause of hedgehog (and song thrush) numbers falling.

.
 

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"Hedgehog numbers are recovering where badgers have been culled."
If anyone knows of the evidence that supports this statement please post.

In a lifetime of living and working in the countryside I have never once seen evidence of a badger having eaten a hedgehog.
The widespread use of slug pellets has been claimed by some to be the cause of hedgehog (and song thrush) numbers falling.

.
I was speaking to one of the people that counts hedgehogs. Asked him how that is possible. His answer road kill.
Bob.
 

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I think the story around agriculture here may be different in southern England from where you are, JS. In 2003 the CAP subsidy payment system changed and the Countryside Stewardship scheme incentivised environmental benefits rather than pure agricultural production. You can certainly argue about the effectiveness of the scheme, but if anything I'd have thought that under it we would now have slightly more areas that ought to offer hedgehog habitat than 20 years ago, rather than less. Yet I'm sure the hedgehogs have declined in that time.

The urban badgers that I saw weren't in an area of new development; it's probably a mix of 19th and 20th Century houses in the main. So I'd say that it's definitely a case of the badgers becoming either bolder or more numerous, and moving into established urban areas, rather than the town moving into their territory.
"Hedgehog numbers are recovering where badgers have been culled."
If anyone knows of the evidence that supports this statement please post.

In a lifetime of living and working in the countryside I have never once seen evidence of a badger having eaten a hedgehog.
The widespread use of slug pellets has been claimed by some to be the cause of hedgehog (and song thrush) numbers falling.

.
I can't offer any scientific evidence but there is no doubt that since the badger cull here we are seeing many more hedgehogs than we have for years.
 

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"Hedgehog numbers are recovering where badgers have been culled."
If anyone knows of the evidence that supports this statement please post.

In a lifetime of living and working in the countryside I have never once seen evidence of a badger having eaten a hedgehog.
The widespread use of slug pellets has been claimed by some to be the cause of hedgehog (and song thrush) numbers falling.

.
There you go. That is all that is left after a badger has finished with a hedgehog.
 

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I don’t know anything about badgers. Only ever see them dead.

But I thought hedgehog decline was more down to fewer invertebrates - because of use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides in agricultural settings. Their reduced numbers tracks the decline in bird numbers, too. Not saying badger predation isn’t a thing. But I’ve been trying to encourage hedgehogs in my garden and my research led me to believing it’s their food supply drying up - a fact reinforced by the increase in sightings of skinny hogs during the day.
 

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I don't know anything about badgers. Only ever see them dead.

But I thought hedgehog decline was more down to fewer invertebrates - because of use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides in agricultural settings. Their reduced numbers tracks the decline in bird numbers, too. Not saying badger predation isn't a thing. But I've been trying to encourage hedgehogs in my garden and my research led me to believing it's their food supply drying up - a fact reinforced by the increase in sightings of skinny hogs during the day.
In certain situations that is probably a major factor but I know that where I live, backing onto a large area of woodland, pesticides and herbicides are not an issue. The only thing that has changed over the last 30 years, that I have lived here, is the hedgehogs have disappeared as the badger numbers have increased dramatically.
30 years ago you very rarely ever saw a dead badger in my area. Plenty dead hedgehogs though. Now it is the reverse.
 

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In certain situations that is probably a major factor but I know that where I live, backing onto a large area of woodland, pesticides and herbicides are not an issue. The only thing that has changed over the last 30 years, that I have lived here, is the hedgehogs have disappeared as the badger numbers have increased dramatically.
30 years ago you very rarely ever saw a dead badger in my area. Plenty dead hedgehogs though. Now it is the reverse.
I'm more agricultural so that makes sense.
 

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There you go. That is all that is left after a badger has finished with a hedgehog.
The skin in the photograph is clearly turned inside out. Is there any evidence that it was killed or eaten by a badger? A badger can rip open a beehive so it would be expected to leave clear evidence on a soft skinned animal like a hedgehog albeit covered with spines.
One predator that does turn a skin inside out is a cat, even a big cat like a puma or a lion does it (I have examined sheep killed by a big cat), they remove the skin with their rasping tongue as can witnessed when a domestic cat has eaten a rabbit.
..

In the late 80's we had very dry weather conditions during the late summer and the general public and conservationists were asked to look out for emaciated juvenile hedgehogs that were seeking food during the day. They could be found blundering along roadsides because they were too weak to climb the kerbs or roadsides. Advice was given to collect any found and feed them until they reach a weight sufficient for them to go through the winter.
Given what happened back then it could be suggested that the change in our climate is linked with the decline in hedgehog numbers?
 

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Like most species in decline, there just isn't one single issue that you can point to and say that that is the problem. Hedgehogs are no different.

I haven't seen a hedgehog in years. The last ones I saw, my dog used to find them in the middle of fields in the dark when I had him out to do what he had to do before being kenneled for the night. It was a field that hadn't been cultivated for years and had went wild. I never saw a hedgehog in it afterwards after it was ploughed in and barley sown on it.

When driving to the local village now and all the Green fields have turned that ****** yellow colour after being cut for silage, literally thousands of acres if it was all added up, and contractors cutting day and night to get the silage in before the weather changes, I'm not sure what resistance that rolling up in a ball would have to a silage mower.

Then those thousands of acres are fertilised, again, and millions of litres of slurry applied, again, maybe four or five times a summer that runs off to our burns, streams and rivers after the first shower of rain. Does artificially nutrified ground make good habitat for hedgehogs?

Our countryside has changed beyond belief. Our wildlife is suffering from those changes. Farming practices are just a part of the problem. There are so many other issues out there too.

Honestly, if badgers were the hedgehogs only problem, our countryside would be a much nicer place to be.
 

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The skin in the photograph is clearly turned inside out. Is there any evidence that it was killed or eaten by a badger? A badger can rip open a beehive so it would be expected to leave clear evidence on a soft skinned animal like a hedgehog albeit covered with spines.
One predator that does turn a skin inside out is a cat, even a big cat like a puma or a lion does it (I have examined sheep killed by a big cat), they remove the skin with their rasping tongue as can witnessed when a domestic cat has eaten a rabbit.
..

In the late 80's we had very dry weather conditions during the late summer and the general public and conservationists were asked to look out for emaciated juvenile hedgehogs that were seeking food during the day. They could be found blundering along roadsides because they were too weak to climb the kerbs or roadsides. Advice was given to collect any found and feed them until they reach a weight sufficient for them to go through the winter.
Given what happened back then it could be suggested that the change in our climate is linked with the decline in hedgehog numbers?
If you actually knew as much as you claim about wildlife, then you would know, that that picture is classic badger predation. A badger can easily prise open a curled up hog with its powerful claws, rip open the soft skinned underbelly, then eat the contents, leaving behind the spine covered skin. Surely you have seen this before? Pretty sure there were no cats, lions or pumas involved in this case.

The fact that badgers predate heavily on hedgehogs is an inconvenient truth that a lot of people are very keen to try and dismiss. I do not for a minute suggest that there are not other factors affecting hedgehogs but when their numbers are already reduced, predation from badgers can tip an already precarious population into a critical one.

As I have stated before in a previous thread. In my home town, I know of an area where there are no badgers at present, where fortunately, the hedgehog population is still healthy, unlike all the areas that back into land where there are badgers.
 

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If you actually knew as much as you claim about wildlife, then you would know, that that picture is classic badger predation. A badger can easily prise open a curled up hog with its powerful claws, rip open the soft skinned underbelly, then eat the contents, leaving behind the spine covered skin. Surely you have seen this before? Pretty sure there were no cats, lions or pumas involved in this case.

The fact that badgers predate heavily on hedgehogs is an inconvenient truth that a lot of people are very keen to try and dismiss. I do not for a minute suggest that there are not other factors affecting hedgehogs but when their numbers are already reduced, predation from badgers can tip an already precarious population into a critical one.

As I have stated before in a previous thread. In my home town, I know of an area where there are no badgers at present, where fortunately, the hedgehog population is still healthy, unlike all the areas that back into land where there are badgers.
There is no need to take offence, I am not trying to dismiss anything. All I have done is ask for evidence that it was a badger that killed and ate the hedgehog in your photograph as I have never seen anything like it previously.

As you say badgers are extremely powerful and could easily rip open a hedgehog. If the animal in your photograph was opened by a badger you would expect the skin would show clear signs of the damage you describe.
 

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There is no need to take offence, I am not trying to dismiss anything. All I have done is ask for evidence that it was a badger that killed and ate the hedgehog in your photograph as I have never seen anything like it previously.

As you say badgers are extremely powerful and could easily rip open a hedgehog. If the animal in your photograph was opened by a badger you would expect the skin would show clear signs of the damage you describe.
I am surprised you have not seen these remains before. Perhaps you don't have many badgers or hedgehogs in your area? They are widely regarded as a classic sign of badger predation. I have seen them plenty times, especially on grassland that is frequented by both species, however, very rarely nowadays, as there are hardly any hedgehogs left.

My friend has a small farm which is purely permanent pasture for grazing sheep. He regularly used to see hedgehogs, especially if he was out shooting rabbits at night. Now that he has badgers on the land, he has not see a hedgehog since they appeared and any he did see laterally, have been remains like the one in the photo. His rabbits have taken a hammering too, as the badgers dig out all the nesting burrows and eat most of the young rabbits before they even appear above ground.

The reason there are no visible marks left on the remaining skin in the picture, is because the badgers attack the soft underside, which is obviously spine free. That skin would most likely have shown marks from the claws, if it was left, but it appears that the badgers must eat that as well, as normally, only the inedible, spine covered skin, is all that remains.
In the uk, a badger is the only animal capable of opening up and killing a curled up hedgehog.
 

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I am surprised you have not seen these remains before. Perhaps you don't have many badgers or hedgehogs in your area? They are widely regarded as a classic sign of badger predation. I have seen them plenty times, especially on grassland that is frequented by both species, however, very rarely nowadays, as there are hardly any hedgehogs left.

My friend has a small farm which is purely permanent pasture for grazing sheep. He regularly used to see hedgehogs, especially if he was out shooting rabbits at night. Now that he has badgers on the land, he has not see a hedgehog since they appeared and any he did see laterally, have been remains like the one in the photo. His rabbits have taken a hammering too, as the badgers dig out all the nesting burrows and eat most of the young rabbits before they even appear above ground.

The reason there are no visible marks left on the remaining skin in the picture, is because the badgers attack the soft underside, which is obviously spine free. That skin would most likely have shown marks from the claws, if it was left, but it appears that the badgers must eat that as well, as normally, only the inedible, spine covered skin, is all that remains.
In the uk, a badger is the only animal capable of opening up and killing a curled up hedgehog.
Wish they would take out the beaver was at dalmarnock today great beat but amazed the amount of beaver damage on every pool , they need to sort that out first it's getting out of control even up the bank trees 40-50 yards away are getting chewed 😭
 
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