Badger Surveys are often required when a potential development can affect badgers, and planning permission can often be refused when it is not shown that badgers are unaffected. As such, a badger survey is often required even when there is no sett located directly on the site. Badgers are protected under their own specific legislation; the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. They are also protected under Schedule 6 the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
The initial stage of a badger survey consists of a walkover site survey. This is usually carried out as part of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal, whereby the ecological value of the site as a whole is appraised. Badger Surveys can be carried out at any time of year, although the optimum time to survey for field signs is between February to April and in October, and the optimum time to survey for setts is in winter, when setts are less hidden by vegetation.
Our Badger Surveys identify any signs of badger activity on a site, such as:
- Latrines and faeces
- Badger runs
- Snuffle holes from feeding
- Scratch marks at the bottom of trees and fence posts
The field survey is supplemented by a desk based survey, whereby local record centres, badger groups and web based sources are consulted as to any records of badger activity in the local area.
When badger setts are identified on a site, we can liaise with developers or architects to implement a development that will have no negative impact upon badger populations. A report is produced, with a method statement to ensure that no harm to badger setts is caused. This can negate the necessity for a Natural England License, and makes the planning application a smoother and quicker process.
When this cannot be avoided, and a proposed development is deemed to have a negative impact upon a badger sett, Bagshaw Ecology can use survey techniques such as out bait marking and video recording to determine the size and structure of a badger population. After determining the level of badger activity on a site, we are able to carry out the Natural England License application, and to suggest appropriate mitigation.
Based in Hebden Bridge, near Halifax, Bagshaw Ecology carry out badger surveys throughout West Yorkshire and the surrounding counties, including Greater Manchester, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
For more information regarding badgers, their habitat requirements and legal status, we recommend visiting the Badger Trust's website. If you have any questions regarding badger surveys, or free a free quotation, please contact us.