BADGERS AND DEVELOPMENT
Once badgers are identified within a proposed or existing development sight there may be need for action to prevent an offence under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Under this Act it is an offence to:
Interfere with, damage, destroy or obstruct access to a sett.
Disturb a badger whilst occupying a sett.
Our site survey will therefore focus on:
General levels of badger activity on site.
The precise location of any badger setts.
The ‘classification’ of these setts (i.e. whether ‘main’, ‘annex’, ‘subsidiary’ or ‘outlier’).
The routes used by badgers to enter and leave the site (to access nearby foraging areas and/or other setts off site).
In combination with drawings of the proposed development, the survey findings are used to predict potential impacts on badgers. These may be direct impacts (such as destruction of/damage to setts, obstruction of sett entrances), or indirect impacts (including disturbance to badgers whilst occupying a sett, and disruption to badger movements on and off site).
EXCLUDING BADGERS FROM AN AREA
For safety, to prevent damage or sometimes to try and stop the transmission of diseases, it may be necessary to exclude badgers from certain areas. There are a variety of solutions ranging from special fencing to underpasses. Over the years, we have developed a sound understanding of the specifications required for each solution to enable us to offer cost efficient solutions.
BADGER SETT CLOSURES
Development or damage situations may necessitate the closure of a badger sett under licence and, in some circumstances, the subsequent destruction of that sett. Our many experiences of different sett closures allows us to offer pragmatic and workable solutions to specific timelines. Working alongside small, medium and large earth moving equipment to deconstruct badgers setts has given us unique insight into sett structures which has also informed our artificial sett designs.
ARTIFICIAL SETT CONSTRUCTION
When the solution to a badger situation requires the closure of a main sett, legal requirements mean the construction of an artificial replacement. These setts, made from predominantly biodegradable materials, allow badgers immediate refuge while facilitating internal expansion and reconstruction as time progresses. We have successfully conducted over 20 of these projects and have developed a suite of pragmatic solutions for different circumstances.
Subject to the appropriate licensing it is possible to live trap badgers for research, disease control or relocation. In exceptional circumstances, live trapping can be used to facilitate sett closures when badgers can be trapped and then released into newly constructed artificial setts. This can sometimes offer a time and cost efficient solution.