What’s happened at Berkhamsted Castle?

John Waller and damaged grass at Berkhamsted Castle.
John Waller and damaged grass at Berkhamsted Castle.

Large parts of Berkhamsted Castle have been taped off to the public after badgers tore up huge chunks of grass.

English Heritage, which owns the site, was quick to re-turf the damaged land when damage was first noticed last month.

But since then the grass has been dug up time and time again, with more and more areas of land being damaged.

History enthusiast John Waller, 69, of Cobb Road, Berkhamsted, who gives guided tours there during weekends and Bank Holidays, said it looks ‘dreadful’.

Castle landscape manager Robin Bain said: “The castle’s short grass areas have in the past been subject to digging from the local badger population.

“They remove the top turf to get to chafer grubs underneath that are nearer the surface at this time of year.

“Badgers are protected and it is also difficult to prevent access to the main grass areas of the site. We will replace the turf as necessary and the relaid grass should be fine by early spring.

“English Heritage is looking at ways of dealing with the grubs which would deter the badgers from removing the turf.”