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Protecting Badgers

As part of our activities in protecting badgers we get asked to get involved when there may be a threat to a badger sett. Within the last week we have had 3 such instances with completely different outcomes.

The first request came from outside our area, it was a Surrey based issue. We were made aware of a developer that cleared a site that had an inhabited badger sett on it. They flattened the site during the day with the badgers still in residence. Members of the public raised the alarm with our counter parts in West Surrey. They immediately went to the site and called the police. They tried digging out the entrances but it appeared to be too late for the badgers.

Badger Trust were also informed and in a conversation with them it would appear that the developer will not be prosecuted as it could not be established that they were aware of an active badger sett on the site.

The second request is a follow up involving an individual that wants to clear a site ready for building a property. Again there is a badger sett on the site. The individual had started clearing the site and members of the public contacted us. A site visit took place and it was verified that the badger sett was active and the individuals actions were breaking the law. Hampshire Rural Crimes Team were informed and they cautioned the individual and stated that no further works should take place without a Natural England licence being in place. It appears that further works have recently taken place and again Rural Crimes Team have been in touch with us. Another site visit will take place and a report will be given to the Rural Crimes Team.

Hopefully with our involvement and the Rural Crimes Team following up we can stop further disturbance to the badgers on site. If the individual continues then it would be a case that could lead to a prosecution.

The third request hopefully will have a happy ending. We were contacted by a tree surgeon that has been asked to clear a stand of Ash trees that have got Ash Die Back.

When he visited the site he saw a badger sett and he thought it was active. He contacted us and over the weekend a survey was carried out by one of our members. The survey showed there was a very active sett right under the trees that are required to be felled. Photographs were taken so we have a record of the sett.

We have supplied the tree surgeon with all the necessary information for them to apply for a licence. We also emphasised that if any works were carried out without a licence they would be liable to prosecution.

Fortunately this tree surgeon appears to want to do the right thing and is going to apply for a licence. In the meantime, as we know the sett is under threat, we will try and check up on the sett on a regular basis to ensure there is no disturbance to the badgers.

These are just 3 requests that came in within the last week. Alongside responding to these requests we also monitor and check all planning applications within Hampshire to try and identify any applications that may have an impact on a badger clan.

A busy week but worth the time if we can protect the badgers that are under threat.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

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