Joyce and Pablo Abrante’s frequent visitors have been of the furry kind, and have taken a liking to the couple for the delicious snacks they have received on their visits.
It began with foxes at the beginning of lockdown but as the weather turned colder and the nights drew in earlier they spotted a more uncommon garden visitor - badgers.
Their nightly trips have resulted in some spectacular photos taken by Pablo.
“We didn’t actually see our first badgers until the autumn,” 63-year-old Joyce said, “Having said that, I knew they were frequenting my garden due to the mess they made digging up my lawn in their search for worms!”
Initially, a group of five badgers would visit the garden and she began giving them tinned dog food and Bakers Meaty Meals, but after doing some research added other things to their rations, including suet pellets with mealworms, peanuts and cooked vegetables.
Joyce added that the hungry mammals would also happily snack on leftover pasta and rice.
She added: “ I do try not to give them anything which would be harmful or bad for them, hence the Google search. Having said that, according to Google they will eat raw carrots – mine don’t. They don’t like broccoli either. Cooked sweet potato is a different story though…”
As the months turned colder into winter the badgers had fattened themselves up enough with the offerings to reduce their activity - something that they are known to do in the winter.
Now, the badgers are returning to the garden each night from around 7pm.
Joyce said: “Funnily enough, the foxes are scared of them, even if the foxes easily outnumber the badgers. Badgers are clearly boss.
“Of the ones I feed, only two are brave or tame enough for me to feed by hand; the others would be wary of coming quite so close.
“On the plus side, my garden doesn’t get dug up much nowadays – they are so full from their meal at the nightly badger diner they don’t need to dig it up for worms.”