Badgers are located throughout the UK and are particularly numerous in the south west of England, where they are found in a variety of habitats from rural to urban. They live in family groups which usually occupy one main sett and a number of secondary setts (which may not be occupied throughout the year). These underground dwellings may be extensive with numerous entrance holes, tunnels and chambers or a sett may consist of a single hole, a short tunnel and one sleeping chamber.
Badger cubs are born between December and February and the least disruptive time for any works around a main sett is therefore between July and November, when there is less chance of disturbing dependent cubs (this is the standard period in which Natural England will issue a licence for closing a sett). Badgers are well protected by law (mainly the Badger Protection Act, 1992) not because they are rare but for welfare reasons. These iconic animals have been heavily persecuted in the past and it is now illegal to kill or disturb a badger or to interfere with an active badger sett.
Badger surveys can be done at any time of year – though it is often easier to survey in the winter when vegetation has died back. As badgers are very much creatures of habit and are predictable in their behaviour, surveying for their tracks and signs is fairly straightforward and our Ecologists routinely check for the presence of active badgers during every Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.
Badgers can cause significant problems for developers however our experienced team with a thorough understanding of badger ecology are able to look for cost effective and successful solutions that help both the developer and the badgers. We are granted numerous badger licences each year with 6 in the last year alone, excluding badgers from their setts, live digs and creating new setts have become a real specialism of ours.
Green Ecology can provide the following services related to badgers:
- Survey to determine presence of badgers
- Survey to determine population size and territorial boundaries
- Legislation & policy advice
- Licence applications to Natural England for sett closure, or disturbance
- Practical work to exclude badgers
- Artificial sett construction
For more information about badgers and how we can deliver timely and cost effective solutions to your project please get in touch.