Badgers – Meles Meles Meles – and the regulations surrounding them, are covered in England by the Protection of Badgers Act of 1992. The Wildlife and Habitation Conservation section of the Gov.UK website contains masses of useful information on the legislation , which can be found here.
One of Knighton Countryside Management’s areas of expertise is our ability to create artificial badger setts so that badgers can be safely relocated. Sett closure and construction requires a very particular combination of plant and skills, and the great advantage to using Knighton is that we have enough multi skilled staff to send an appropriately qualified team anywhere in the country at short notice.
Badger Setts are surprisingly elaborate. They can be home to as many as 35 animals, although 6 or 8 is more common. Large setts can have as many as 40 entrances and over 100m of tunnels. Setts can be inhabited by several generations and for as long as 200 years, which may explain the badgers’ reluctance to leave. They are often constructed on several levels.
Because of this, translocating badgers is a particularly complex operation and one which requires a great deal of skill and ingenuity in both the planning and implementation. Knighton Countryside Management Ltd have worked for ecologists on a variety of different solutions, and we are able to bring this expertise and experience to future projects.
Green Oak Badger Sett
Knighton Countryside created a Badger Sett using materials harvested and then milled on site – probably the only green oak badger sett in the country.
More usually, setts will be created from a mix of plastic, cement and wood, and the tunnels and chambers are lined with earth, stones and straw, depending on the plans laid out by the ecologists.
Straw Bale Badger Sett
A recent sett in Somerset has been created out of straw bales, which meant the whole structure was created from natural materials. Stacking the bales as per the Ecologist’s design meant that different levels could be easily incorporated into the sett.
Creating new setts is not the only aspect of Badger translocation. Once the new living area is established, the badgers are diverted to it by means of one way badger gates.
These are monitored by the Ecologists, and the area around them is meshed so that the badgers can’t dig their way back in. Once the setts are empty, then final step is to destroy the original sett with a destructive search, so that there is no risk of the badgers returning and then being damaged by subsequent works.