Our services include:
- Badger surveys and monitoring
- Bait-marking surveys
- Diet analysis
- Badger mitigation strategy
- Licence applications
- Artificial sett construction
- Badger exclusions and sett closures
- Supervision of works near setts
- Live digging & cage trapping
The team at Protected Species Ecology are authoritative experts in badger surveys and badger mitigation work. We are frequently called in to advise and assist other consultancies.
Badgers are a widespread and common species in Britain. Under the Protection of Badgers Act (1992) it is an offence to wilfully kill, injure or ill-treat a badger, and their setts are protected against obstruction, destruction or damage. This means that badgers are frequently a consideration, when planning and designing developments.
A survey of badger setts and signs of badgers is included as standard in our Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, and from this initial survey we can determine most of the information required for an impact assessment on badgers: the status and likely extent of any badger setts, the level of occupation, the badgers’ foraging or access routes and preferred feeding areas.
Occasionally, it is necessary to carry out more in depth surveys to determine seasonal changes in patterns of sett use, look at ownership of setts, or to find out the extent of the range of a group of badgers. Here, we conduct a bait marking survey, which involves feeding the badgers bait containing harmless coloured plastic beads, and mapping out their territories through the return of beads in their dung. This allows us to assess, more accurately, how much land each group of badgers will lose, and whether this is likely to be sustainable.
Where a main sett is affected, one solution is to provide an artificial sett as a replacement, either temporarily or long term. David Lewns designed the original ‘natural type’ artificial sets, some of which are still proving effective after more than 20 years in situ. They are cost effective and they work.
We have a successful track record in exclusion, reduction and destruction of setts under licence and have held licences to trap badgers and live dig setts.
If badgers are present, we explain any potential issues, and advise our clients on changes to the timing or any modifications to the design that may help them avoid the need for a licence. If a licence is required, we will complete the badger licence application on their behalf, and liaise with the licensing authority, planning authority and contractors.
We aim to support our clients throughout all stages of the planning and development process, and we pride ourselves on our pragmatic and open approach. We are sympathetic to the needs and timescales of our clients, but we give straightforward, genuine advice on what steps need to be taken to ensure the needs of the development are balanced with the need to protect badgers and remain within the law. We always advise our clients at the earliest stage possible, so ecological issues can be considered and a scheme of work planned accordingly.