Could sand sort out castle’s badger headache?
The badgers are back at Berkhamsted Castle – and one of its tour guides says the only way to get rid of them now is by filling the historic landmark with sand.
The mischievous creatures, who are protected by law, rip up turf at the tourist site to get at the chafer grubs beneath the surface.
The wet weather has made the castle particularly vulnerable to attack, as it brings the grubs closer to the surface and makes the ground easier to tear up.
John Waller, 69, of Cobb Road, Berkhamsted, regularly gives tours of the castle and first spotted the damage many months ago.
He said: “We get a lot of visitors here from all over the world and this is going to spoil their enjoyment of the castle.”
John, who recently returned from a holiday visiting castles in Oman – hence his fez, above – said filling the castle with sand would soon stop badgers getting at the turf.
The castle was opened for live entertainment in 2011 for the first time in 15 years, and has since hosted six open air theatre shows.
John said: “Where are the guests going to sit with the grass all torn up?”
English Heritage, which own the site, says a contractor is repairing the turf this week and rolling up replaced turf to make it more difficult to be dug up.
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Weather for Hemel Hempstead
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West