Badgers are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, which makes it illegal to intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to a sett, or to disturb a Badger whilst it is occupying a sett. Therefore any works which have potential to impact on an active sett will require input from an ecologist to determine the need for mitigation, precautionary measures or licensing. Please be aware that Badger surveys may include setts located in adjacent land as Badger tunnels can extend in excess of 30m from the sett entrances.
Our approach to Badger surveys
We are able to undertake Badger surveys at your development site in order to ascertain the presence or absence of Badgers through recording of setts (classified as main, annex, subsidiary or outlier) and evidence relating to Badger activity at a site (including paths, latrines and signs of foraging). This type of survey is normally undertaken as a single daytime visit, however where presence is confirmed it may also be necessary to undertake monitoring at setts using motion-sensitive cameras, footprint traps or hair traps.
Tor Ecology can provide you with detailed advice on ways to minimise impacts on Badgers during your development design and construction phases, including provision of precautionary working methodologies. We can also undertake construction phase audits to monitor for compliance and changes in activity. Due to the legal protection received by Badgers, it may be necessary to apply for a licence form Natural England to disturb, damage or destroy a Badger sett where a development will result in unavoidable impacts. Tor Ecology has extensive experience in formulating mitigation strategies and producing the licence documents which include a detailed method statement. Mitigation required under licence can include, but may not be limited to, the following measures:
- Pre-works checks;
- Temporary or permanent closure of Badger setts using one-way gates (normally requiring a 3 week monitoring period);
- Supervised destruction of setts under licence following the completion of the exclusion exercise (as above);
- Construction of an artificial sett where proposals include destruction of an existing main sett;
- Retention of green corridors within the development site design (where possible);
- Where required / appropriate, continued allowance for movement of Badgers across a site post-development through provision of road underpasses or Badger-friendly fencing.
Works to close setts are seasonally constrained to avoid affecting Badgers which may have dependent young in the sett, and therefore can only take place under licence from Natural England under an agreed schedule of works normally between July and November.
Natural England do not currently charge for issuing licences, however can take up to 30 working days to process applications.
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