A nocturnal mammal and one of Britain’s most loved at that, the European Badger is an incredible cautious animal being rarely seen by humans in the flesh. They may have a place in the Nation’s heart but certain groups in our society may not hold them in such high regard.
One reason for this is simple… Substantial research over recent years has proved a link between badgers and the transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis to cattle causing heartache, stress and significant financial loss for farmers throughout the UK. More specifically the transmission takes places via the badger’s droppings and urine directly onto the cattle’s grazing area.
For obvious reasons for a minority of individuals this has led to significant illegal culling of badgers in an attempt to help stop the spread of this most deadly of bovine diseases, a development that has itself generated legislation and a boom in the requirement for responsible, informative badger surveys. The Protection of Badgers Act (1992) made it illegal to injure, kill capture or disturb badgers in any way and brought severe punishments into play for anyone found to have breached the conditions of their development in much the same way as with bats, great crested newts and other types of ecology.
This has had an overwhelmingly positive response with badger numbers increasing dramatically since this legislation was brought into force but with that population boost has seen badgers becoming an even greater problem for farmers and other landowners.
When might you need a badger survey? Well, If you want to carry out conventional building work with 20m of a sett or pile and otherwise cause vibration within 30m you will need a license to operate and a strategy put in place to mitigate the risk to local badgers and their setts. In the worst case scenario this may involve moving your intended development but would most likely be limited to the construction of features such as badger tunnels and safe routes of passage around newly-constructed obstacles.
Crucially a badger survey is the very first step to determining how your project can proceed within the law. Given the levels of fines that could be imposed or the delays that could result, can you afford not to do a badger survey on your site?
For more information on badger surveys and what City Surveys & Monitoring’ team of badger ecologists can do for you, why not drop us a line on 0151 726 8334? One of our team will be happy to talk you through your options.