Badger WatchingA new Mammal Hide was constructed in 2006 after 15 years using an old converted stable at Tewin Orchard. Between April and October the hide is available on an evening booking basis when individuals or small groups can visit to try their luck at seeing badgers, foxes, muntjac deer, bats and rabbits at twilight.
Seeing wild mammals at night from the hide depends a good deal on how silent and still the watchers are in the hide. Badgers can hear whispering and talking many metres away and may simply stay out of sight until the watchers have gone.
It is best to park in the pear orchard and walk quietly down to the hide about half an hour before dusk. Some watchers wait several hours, but remember to wrap up well in dark clothing even in hot weather because sitting, waiting, cools the body and night temperatures can drop considerably. Food is left out at the hide by the wardens each evening and the area is illuminated, but the animal life present is always wary. Bats have found the lighting a useful source of insect food and may swoop past the windows.
The two cottages next to the reserve are owned privately and enquiries about the site or volunteering should only be made to the Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust or The Hertfordshire & Middlesex Badger Group.
Please leave the car park quietly so as not to disturb nearby homes.
Booking information:Book by calling The Herts and Middlesex Badger Group, the mobile help line is operated by volunteer Judith Denton (messages cannot be left)
Call 07733 051760 between 8-9.00am or 7-9.00pm only,
Bookings taken from: 1 March to 30 September.
Links:Herts and Middlesex Badger Group (www.hmbadgergroup.org.uk) - is a voluntary organisation dedicated to all aspects of the badger in the two counties.
The Fox Website (www.thefoxwebsite.org) - information on all aspects of red fox ecology, management and human conflict.