Cricket club safe from badger attack, for now

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Badgers have torn up the turf at two of Dacorum’s oldest landmarks – and there are fears they may now attack a 138-year-old cricket club.

They struck at Berkhamsted Castle – which dates back to the 11th century – last year, tearing its grass to pieces to get at the chafer grubs underneath it.

English Heritage, which owns the site, had to cordon off most of the popular tourist attraction while the damage is fixed.

But since the badgers keep returning, the cordons have stayed there to this day.

On top of that, the badgers have struck at the historic gardens of Ashridge House – and they date back to the early 19th century.

Now Berkhamsted Cricket Club chairman Julian Dent says he is worried that the badgers might target its pitches in the town’s Kitcheners Field – right opposite the castle.

The national press has reported that Rickmansworth Cricket Club, founded in 1787, suspended play for the first time this season after badgers tore its pitch to pieces.

Mr Dent said: “I am very anxious about it. Rickmansworth are saying what attracts the badgers is this fly larvae that’s in the grass, but you can’t treat it while the weather is cold. It has to be above 8oC.”

Now that the weather is getting hotter, he aims to treat the club’s two pitches, which cost about £20,000 a year to maintain, as soon as possible.