Badgers appear to be thriving in the southern Touraine, although they are declining in many places in Europe. Within a kilometre stretch along the Claise river near Chaumussay there are at least 3 large badger setts. This one, built into the roadside bank, is like a multistorey apartment block, with more than a dozen entrance/exit holes at varying levels up the bank.
Badger hunting is allowed in France and they are widely regarded as vermin (although not officially designated as such). The main reason is the damage they do to banks like this, undermining the stability of the upper edges and steep slopes.
Setts are not the only signs of badgers that one commonly sees. Recently we wrote about seeing tracks near Richelieu, and paths made by badgers regularly traversing the grass and undergrowth criss-cross the countryside all over the southern Touraine.
Badgers emerge from the sett at dusk and after checking for danger sit around the entrance grooming themselves. Once it is dark they trot off in search of worms, insects, fruits, bulbs, grains and possibly small animals in the forests and neighbouring fields.