The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 makes it illegal to destroy, damage or obstruct access to a sett or disturb a badger while it is using its sett. ECOSA have extensive experience in surveying for badger using specific survey techniques to assess status of setts and the extent of foraging habitat.
Our project experience includes numerous surveys for proposed development sites including wind turbines, roads, housing developments, racecourses and schools. The presence of badger is unlikely to preclude development at most sites but where an impact to badger or their setts is anticipated, mitigation may need to be put in place.
Using our survey data to devise appropriate mitigation strategies, we have successfully obtained many Natural England licences for development works affecting both badger and their setts. Mitigation works include the closure of setts, the creation of temporary exclusion zones and the creation of artificial setts by our habitat management team.
There is no standard guidance for badger surveys. An initial site assessment would be followed up by surveys appropriate to the site and the nature of the evidence found.
Establishing the presence of setts is generally more effective if the survey is carried out during winter when vegetation is less dense. For recommended timings, see our survey timetable.