Badger closes castle tourist attraction

Craignethan Castle in the Clyde Valley.
Craignethan Castle in the Clyde Valley.

Visitors to Craignethan Castle over the weekend may have found the cellar tunnel closed due to a “very angry badger”.

Historic Scotland sent out a tweet on Friday warning about the presence of the mammal at the ruined 16th century castle in South Lanarkshire.

The tunnel was shut at around midday on Thursday after staff discovered the unexpected guest.

Staff were trying to persuade the badger to come out with cat food and honey after becoming aware that something was amiss when there found dug-out earth that wasn’t evident on Wednesday evening when the castle closed down for the night. Staff decided to investigate the scrapings when they later saw the badger on closer inspection.

It was only on Saturday morning that the badger had decided to move from the tunnel the castle’s teamhad previously explored with a camera.

The animal is said to have caused some mess, digging up through loose soil into stonework. The rest of the castle remained open throughout the weekend.

The Historic Scotland property, managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), was built around 1530 and has a tower house, ramparts and caponier - a stone-vaulted shooting gallery.

Badgers and their setts are protected by law and those affected by the mammals should seek professional advice before taking any action.

Scottish Badgers is an independent Scottish charity. It was founded in 1999, with encouragement from the Scottish Government, who perceived a need for a non-statutory body to work in this field.

Their aim is to promote the study, conservation and protection of badgers, their setts and natural habitat in Scotland.

They have a website which has a wealth of information on badgers, their feeding habits, and the law in Scotland relating to what a householder can do if you have a badger problem. Visit: www.scottishbadgers.org.uk/index.asp.