Badgers and developments

At HED Ltd, a large portion of the work that we do relates to badgers and how they can be affected by developments. We offer guidance to our clients to allow developers to carry out their project without breaching legislation and minimising impacts on badgers.

Due to increased concerns on badger welfare, stronger legislation is in place to protect badgers and their setts.


Badgers and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 as amended by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011. Offences include:

  • wilfully taking, injuring or killing a badger;

  • cruelty to a badger;

  • intentional or reckless interference with a badger sett;

  • sale or possession of a badger;

  • marking or ringing of a badger.

Many would assume that a badger’s habitat would be confined to the countryside and away from human civilisation. However, many projects that we have worked on have been scenarios where a network of active badger setts have been found close to urban environments. The tunnels of badger setts can extend up to 15-20m away from the sett entrances. It is important for developers to consider this constraint if works are planned to take place within 30m of a sett entrance which could result in the interference of a sett. Interference of a sett can be classed as:

  • damaging or destroying a sett or any part of it;

  • obstructing access to a sett;

  • disturbing a badger while it is in a sett;

  • causing or allowing a dog to enter a badger sett.

A licence can be granted which allows for a development to interfere with a sett, but they are not usually granted during the breeding season which takes place between 30th November - 1st July.

The video above is a good example of a successful badger sett exclusion we carried out as part of a new housing development. This sett entrance has been supplied with a badger gate, which allows badgers to leave the sett, but prevents re-entry after a phased period where the was gate set to swing both ways. The surrounds of the gate were also lined with badger fencing to prevent a badger from digging its way back into the sett. The badger in the video makes little effort to try and regain entry to the sett, which suggests it has another home elsewhere.

If you have a project that will require a badger survey or you are looking for some guidance regarding badgers, contact HED Ltd if you think we can help.

© 2019 by HED Ltd.