Tuesday 9 July 2024

Badger Haven at Frugaldom

Our badger clan is growing

Frugaldom did not set out to become a haven for the local badger clan, it happened quite by mistake. Our barren land was purchased 10 years ago and from them until now, we have been planting rees, hedges, wildflowers, herbs, grasses, fruit, berries and vegetables. The badger clan found us just last year, when we first completed the hutting project and began monitoring wildlife.

Badger in daylight

We did some fundraising for Frugaldom to help cover the cost of some trail cameras, which we managed to source for around £25 each. These were initially purchased to monitor the movements of a pine marten that was spotted.

Pine marten

By setting up the various cameras we were able to establish regular surveillance and have now amassed housands of photos and video clips showing weasels, stoats, pine marten, badger, deer, fox, adders and to our surprise, 5 feral cats who visit through the night. 

Over the winter of 2023/24 we began offering wildlife watch weekends for Friends of Frugaldom, staying either in the huts or in campervans or motorhomes in the yard. As a Certificated (or Certified) Location, we are licensed for up to 5 fully-contained campervans but we aim to keep this to a maximum of 3 owing to quiet hours and lack of services. We do have a waste tank for emptying portable toilet cassettes and a soakaway for water but we are fully off-grid here, so no electricity, sewers or running water. It is very much a case of bring absolutely everything you need, take nothing but photographs and leave no trace. We charge £5 for using the basic facilities and overnight parking is by donation. You must like animals and wildlife and you must adhere to our fairly lengthy list of rules as we are a sanctuary and wildlife conservation project carrying out wildlife surveillance seven night per week. Although we don't object to people bringing their pets in motorhomes or campervans, the pets MUST be kept on short leads and all mess cleaned up. Badgers, pine martens and adders don't mix well with domestic pets if they inadvertently get cornered. Ordinarily, though, the wildlife is out after dark and happily wandering around when left to do their own thing.
Pair of badgers in the paddock by hut 1

Our various feeding stations are topped up each evening before dark. We don't expect our visitors to be out wandering around after dark as we are simply a stopover, not a campsite or holiday park. Here at Frugaldom, the animals come first and our primary function is as a nature and wildlife conservatin project with an animal sanctuary. We currently have 8 ponies and a goat - Vincent Van Goat - to look after. All funds raised from our visitors contribute towards the care of the animals and wildlife.

Badger cubs

We have at least 2 female badgers in the clan who currently have cubs. (Our visiting fox seems to have just a single cub.) The cubs have just begun to come out at nights, often seen in the paddock or creating merry mayhem on the deckings of huts 2 or 3, where we have badger box feeders. These have been a great addition to the project, allowing our happy hutters the opportunity to sit watching the badgers feeding outside the hut windows.
Some of the badger clan

If you are planning a stopover at Frugaldom, we recommend you bring along some peanuts. Everything here seems to love peanuts, even the goat and old Ginger, our thirty-something year old retired pony. We may not be posh or fancy, we may not have modern conveniences and we may not be to everyone's taste as an overnight location but we do this out of a love for nature and justice for abandoned and abused ponies. If we can raise a few pounds to help provide them all with a little safe haven then you are all welcome to join us in our quest to achieve this on a frugal budget. The following are some helpful links:

Contact details and other information, including social media, Amazon Wish List, Ko-fi break updates, website and fundraising links.
Address: Frugaldom, Kirkcowan, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway, DG8 0ET
Tel/WhatsApp: 07795 870688
Social media, most places, username is @Frugaldom
Become Friends of Frugaldom: www.ko-fi.com/Frugaldom
PayPal.me/frugaldom or email frugaldom@gmail.com

Web address: www.frugaldom.com leads to this blog, which is http://frugaldom.blogspot.com/


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