Felixstowe: Tweet for nature lovers

THEY are one of the most iconic creatures in our landscape – but rarely seen.

But after a bit of mysterious nibbling of plants on allotments, and a fleeting glimpse in the undergrowth, people are asking if badgers are living on the Felixstowe peninsula.

It’s become a hot topic on Twitter with the chattering classes all keen to know the answer.

The truth is, badgers are out there – but you are unlikely to see one unless you know where to look.

At this time of year, most have already stocked up during autumn on food for the colder months and certainly won’t be venturing out on these freezing days, preferring to stay in their setts, snuggled up and cosy.

Suffolk Badger Group co-ordinator Adrian Hinchliffe said there are six setts in the Trimley villages, Kirton and Falkenham, though not that many animals living in them.

“They are in pretty rural areas but one or two are close to public footpaths – though you wouldn’t see the setts unless you knew what you were looking for and were trying to find them,” he said.

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“They are fairly well hidden in the undergrowth and ditch banks. We keep records of all the setts and any badgers which are killed on the roads.

“They are fascinating creatures and not uncommon, just not seen that often.”

Some allotment holders had been wondering whether badgers were responsible for raiding crops in winter in night-time forays.

“It won’t be badgers – they will have stocked up on nuts and berries in the autumn and are not generally active around now, snuggled up in their setts,” said Mr Hinchliffe.

“The female badgers are likely to be pregnant at this time and staying warm because their cubs will be due in January or February.

“Females have delayed implantations and can be made pregnant by different males at different times – so if they give birth to three cubs they could all be by different fathers.

“It could be foxes eating people’s vegetables, or in more rural areas probably deer, which are on the look-out for food at this time of the year.”

n Have you seen a badger on the Felixstowe peninusla? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk