Badgers are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. It is illegal to wilfully kill, injure or take a badger. Their setts are also protected against obstruction, destruction or damage in any part, and the animals within a sett cannot be disturbed.
Surveys are best undertaken during the months when vegetation has died back and the trails and sett entrances can be more easily found.
Disturbance from development of an active sett can include:
• Light work such as hand digging within 10m.
• Use of light machinery (generally wheeled vehicles) within 20m.
• Using heavy machinery (generally tracked vehicles) within 30m.
It is therefore important that a Badger Survey is undertaken at an early stage of the development to inform the scheme design to ensure that adequate mitigation is put in place to minimise the impact on the badgers present.