Brockholes, Brockhall what's the difference?

Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Today is National Colour TV Day, and I have been speaking to producers from one of our favourite programmes on the colour TV - The One Show.

They had heard a story about a badger sett mentioned in The Domesday Book around 1086 which is still in use today by those beautiful mammals.

The One Show (Onnnne!!!) believed that the sett was close to our own Brockholes nature reserve. While there are none at Brockholes, we have certainly had reports of badgers in the South Lancashire area. And, of course, a "brock" "hole" is a badger sett.

After some investigation by myself and Mr David Beattie, Lancashire Badger Group Chairman, we could find no reference in the Domesday Book to any Lancshire badger setts.

However on the Brockwatch website I found this: "It is probable that badgers were present in Northamptonshire as far back as 250,000 years ago, as fossil remains of the species dating from around that time have been in found in nearby Cambridgeshire. Over the following millenia, changes in climate and advancing and retreating ice sheets have pushed badgers (and people) out of the area and allowed them back again several times.

"Jumping forward to within one thousand years of the present day we find what is almost certainly the first written evidence of badgers in West Northamptonshire. The Domesday Book of 1086 includes a record for the settlement of Brocole, a name which is generally accepted to mean ‘badger hole’. In later records the village is referred to as Brockhole, but from around the fifteenth century it has been known as Brockhall. The first recorder of badger setts in Northamptonshire, AW Leftwich, wrote: “Badgers have been known and protected on this estate for centuries. Hence the name Brockhall.”

And badgers have probably been present in Lancashire for hundreds of thousands of years, but, unfortunately, our own badgers were not recorded in the Domesday Book.

So we may not have made it onto the One Show again - Wigan Flashes were on a couple of years ago - but we know that we have badgers in the region. And by joining the Wildlife Trust you can help to ensure that these badgers are protected so that generations to come can appreciate these amazing creatures.