Badger causes bother in historic gardens

A BADGER has caused thousands of pounds of damage to a historic Suffolk garden, it was revealed today.

A BADGER has caused thousands of pounds of damage to a historic Suffolk garden, it was revealed today.

Staff at Ickworth Park have been waging war on the animal in the Italianate gardens for three months and as a last resort they are now laying paving slabs to ward off the persistent pest.

The National Trust gardens, near Bury St Edmunds, have been invaded by the uninvited visitor on many occasions and it has caused damage to lawns and dug up bee and wasp nests.

Ickworth head gardener Sean Reid said: “Every year we plant 400 autumn crocus bulbs in the lawns, ready for the spring,'' said Mr Reid.

“This year was no exception and the volunteers got hard to work, plugging each individual bulb into its little hole.

“We were proud of our work and looking forward to seeing the flowers come up, until the shock discovery that the cheeky badger had struck again and dug up every single one of our 400 bulbs.''

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Mr Reid said he has been attempting to outwit the badger by blocking access to the formal gardens.

“I've been putting down piles of leaves to see where it gets in and have found its entrance under the metal gate,'' he added.

“I've already blocked it up once and the determined thing dug up the bricks and found his way in again, so this time we're concreting paving slabs in and I'm hopeful that'll do the job.”

National Trust nature conservation adviser Stuart Warrington said: “We know there are badger setts in the park at Ickworth and they've got a fantastic protected habitat here where they can flourish so it is a bit annoying they're making a beeline for the 5% of the estate that we'd prefer to keep badger-free.”

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