Badgers receive protection under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 and Schedule 6 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 (as amended).
Quants Ecologists have the experience of all aspects of survey and licensing required to deliver projects, that not only fully meet all legal obligations, but also deliver the Planning Authority requirements for enhanced environmental gains.
Badger surveys can be carried out throughout the year, the most effective time is between March and May when vegetation cover is reduced. Actions that may disturb badgers must be licensed by the appropriate statutory agency and are restricted to the period between 1 July and 30 November.
Where a risk of disturbance to badgers and their setts has been identified, an initial survey report will be required. If evidence of badgers is found further surveys may be needed. Occasionally, a licence may be required prior to any work commencing which might disturb a badger’s sett.
When a confirmed badger sett has been identified, a detailed assessment of the land is required to establish the territorial boundaries of the badger social groups using the area, and the distribution and status of all local setts. This is to determine which, if any, are in use and to see if there is an alternative sett to which the badgers could move within their own territory. Only the main sett is likely to be in continuous use, and it is threats to the main sett which can have the greatest impact on a badger population.
Most types of building work within 20 metres of a badger sett will require a licence. The use of very heavy machinery which would cause a disturbance, and/or ground vibration within 30 metres of a sett is also licensable.
Once planning permission has been approved a licence application can be made to Natural England. The application requires a mitigation ‘Method Statement’ describing how badgers will be conserved on the site after development. Typical mitigation measures include avoiding sensitive times of the year and, depending on the type of sett affected, set destruction, sett exclusion or provision of an artificial sett and associated features.