Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, which makes it illegal to kill, injure or take badgers or to interfere with a badger sett. There is, however, provision within the legislation to permit activities affecting badgers or their setts where there is suitable justification and a problem cannot be resolved by alternative means. Such activities are authorised under licences.
Our badger surveys follow the standard methodology, which involves recording the following signs of badgers: badger paths, footprints, latrines, hairs, scratching trees, bedding and setts. Should a badger sett be discovered during the investigation we are able to undertake further monitoring using a variety of methods such as bait marking which can determine the territorial configuration of badger social groups. The information from bait marking can then be used in conjunction with recording other badger activity such as well worn paths and footprints.
If badgers setts are found during surveys, a badger exclusion or disturbance license may be required for development works to proceed. If this is the case we will compile a license application including a detailed mitigation plan which may include an artificial sett design or sett re-location. Licenses are usually only granted for the period 1st July to 30th November so that the badger breeding season is avoided.
In some cases it may be necessary to exclude badgers from a sett completely, for example if heavy machinery needs to cross directly over a sett. However sett exclusion should be considered a last resort, with all other avenues considered first.
A disturbance or exclusion license will only be granted by Natural England if sufficient consideration has been taken with regards to the welfare of the badgers and Tyrer Ecological Consultants will ensure that appropriate mitigation is designed in the licence application.