My field badgers live in a large sett located within a mature hedgerow at the foot of a hill. My unique PhotoArk™ hides and automatic peanut feeder are situated in a narrow strip of land, set-aside for wild bird seed and bees. The hides face West with the sun setting to the front and right of the hide, gilding the badgers in warm evening sidelight and backlight.
Directly in front of the hide, the terrain is completely flat, with the mature hedgerow to your left. The viewing is very clear and the backdrop is short vegetation and the slope of the field (several hundred metres away) producing beautiful distraction-free foregrounds and backgrounds. Everything is natural and I do as little ‘manacuring’ of the habitat as possible, leaving the wildflowers to grow naturally wherever possible.The automatic feeder is timed to drop peanuts during the early evening and I also put out a selection of earthworms, mealworms, honey, and peanut butter in the logs and holes dug into the ground, out of sight.
These unique PhotoArk™ hides are now OPEN! You can now photograph badgers at ground-level in natural surroundings. Meeting time is strictly 5:30pm. Open every day. Evening sessions are £100. Overnight stay is recommended but optional.
At a glance...
|Current Status||Open||EQV Focal Length||Min. 400mm | Subject: ~4-12m|
|Star Attraction||European Badger (Meles meles)||Shooting Angles||Faces 240° West|
|No. of Photogs||One per PhotoArk™||Access||Narrow hatch into hide|
|Habitat||Mature hedgerow, open field||Feeder||Peanut feeder|
|Viewing||500x800mm window, scrim netting||Season||May to August|
The Badger PhotoArks™
I have two PhotoArks™ in position for the badgers. For their size, a surprisingly comfortable space awaits you, with internal measurements of 2.3m (8ft) in length, 1.9m (6ft) wide and over 1m (4ft) high. There’s plenty of room for your camera bags and food. At the front, a shutter and black scrim, keep you out of sight, but allow you to have a good view across the scene. The entrance to these unorthodox hides is a relatively narrow hatchway measuring 500mm wide by x 800mm high and you crawl in head first.
It may sound strange, but it’s probably the best view of badgers without laying in the field pretending to be a peanut! A lot more agreeable on the joints too! I do recommend staying overnight as there is less chance of disturbing the badgers. The hatch door has spring-loaded bolts for security. There is an inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, and internal light provided inside.
Photographing from the PhotoArk™
Each PhotoArk™ is designed for a single photographer to use exclusively, with two PhotoArks™ in position side-by-side. You won’t be sharing, so please do not worry about getting in anybody’s way. These hides are designed for low-level photography, standing just 30cm from the ground. I offer complimentary use of my tripod ground plates – constructed from machined metal block, with a ⅜ thread, they are perfect for mounting a tripod-head. They enable you to move the camera position from side to side, while providing a rock-solid platform for your camera and lens.
There is space if you prefer to use a tripod, but I recommend using the plates for the lower angle. Simply bolt your tripod head on to the plate and away you go. If you want to use your tripod, then it needs to open wide for low-level work. Alternatively you can used a double beanbag. To increase your comfort, padded rubber flooring has been installed along with a self-inflating camping mattress and cushioned pad.
The hide is completely blacked out inside, but there is enough light coming through the front window for to set-up your gear, plus a small overhead LED light. It is advisable to bring a head-torch for overnight stays. The PhotoArks™ are fully insulated, so during the night the ambient temperature inside the hides remains comfortable. If you’re staying through the night, a larger inflatable AeroBed mattress will be provided – just let me know at the time of booking and select the “Overnight” option.
Badger Hide Booking
When open, the form below will take you through the live availability, booking and payment. Payment can be made directly with a valid payment card using our new secure Stripe gateway, or via PayPal. You do not require a PayPal account, just a valid debit or credit card. Simply select “Checkout as Guest” when you’re redirected to PayPal.
Upon payment, you will immediately receive a booking confirmation email – please contact me ASAP if you do not receive this. Shortly before your booking date, you will also receive full joining instructions via email, including the meeting location. I have also put together a comprehensive guide to photographing badgers at the hide which I highly recommend reading before your session.