On the 25th of October the Forum welcomed as guest speaker Bill Mitchell from Ilkley.
Bill’s talk was titled Brock the Badger – Friend or Foe and it soon became clear that Bill regarded all badgers as his friends.
Of the 42 members present only three had ever seen a live badger and we were all quickly won over by Bill’s splendid pictures of the animals with which he illustrated his talk.
The badger is a mainly nocturnal animal with very poor eyesight which is compensated by a highly developed sense of smell and excellent hearing.
Each badger exudes its individual perfume and can navigate its way home by following the scent trail it has left. The badgers live in an underground burrow called a sett where they sleep, breed and spend most of the winter.
They are however very clean animals and establish a toilet area clear of the sett which all the badgers use. They have a tolerant relationship with foxes and have been known to share their sett with them although the badgers ensure that the foxes stay a safe distance away.
Bill mentioned the problems caused by badger digging and baiting and raised the controversial topic of the spread of bovine tuberculosis by badgers.
A lively question and answer session followed, members being very concerned with badgers digging up their lawns in the search for a meal of earthworms.
Mike Earle proposed a vote of thanks commenting that members now know a lot more than previously about badgers.