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Going underground: Get a unique view of a badger's world

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 15:29 UK time, Tuesday, 11 October 2011

badgers on a monitor

From Friday 14 October we'll be beaming pictures like these live from Devon

Join us on our live webcast or (for the very first time) via the BBC Red Button for a unique view into the lives of one of Britain's most loved creatures. Autumnwatch Live has three miniature cameras buried deep inside the sett of a wild badger family in the Devon countryside.

You will see live footage of badgers, the like of which has been rarely seen before. Above ground they're incredibly nervous, but inside their subterranean home these mammals are completely at ease. It might be pitch black down there but our infra-red cameras will be able to witness every aspect of the their underground life.

Martin Hughes-Games being filmed

Martin HG pointing to the woods where the badgers live

It's not just the sights down there, there are sounds too. You'll hear an intriguing array of grunts, growls, groans, whimpers, whines and more as the badgers navigate their way through the darkness. If you thought your partner was a loud snorer, wait until you hear a badger in full flow...

Autumn is a critical time of year for a badger family. It's the last chance to mate before those long cold winter nights set in. They'll also need to begin to establish order and create strong bonds. Play fights will break out, often to be followed by grooming, nuzzling, nestling and a whole load of scratching (badgers love a good scratch).

rigging infra-red cameras

Specialist cameraman Jo rigging infra-red lighting

It's a time when they need to be piling on the pounds, in some cases almost doubling their weight in order to survive the harsh winter. And that's where our outside, over-ground cameras come in.

With these we'll be able to follow the seven wild badgers on their nightly quest for food. Badger expert Andrew Cooper has been giving the badgers a helping hand in their winter weight gains for 17 years. The competition for food is intense, there will be biting, barging. Full blown fighting will regularly break out, and we'll be there to film it all.

To add extra insight we'll have interviews with and commentary by both Andrew Cooper and naturalist Chris Sperring, as well as drafting in special guests to share their extensive knowledge, not just about the badgers but about other local wildlife too.

Press Red or join us on the webcams at 5pm on Friday 14 October. We'll be live until 11pm each night until 23 October. As always we'll be on Twitter, Facebook and the messageboard so please do join in the conversation there.



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