Survey techniques include:
- Site assessments for presence / absence of setts;
- Remote monitoring using infra-red trail cameras; and
- Bait marking and territory mapping.
Surveys are ideally undertaken between early spring and late autumn when badgers are most active and mark their territories using ‘latrines’ and when vegetation cover is lower and evidence of badger is more conspicuous. Surveys are possible throughout the year however to establish if setts are present on site.
Our ecologist have vast experience in mitigation design for badger, either through retention and careful landscape planning or through closure of setts to facilitate works. We have successfully obtained licences for temporary and permanent sett closures as well as designing and creating new artificial setts within a development area, retention or reduction of existing setts along with maintenance of foraging areas and movement corridors.
Sett closures can only be undertaken between the period of July and November under licence and require installation of one-way badger gates to humanely exclude badgers from an area. The extent of the proposals and their likely impacts on badgers will depend on the setts’ status, i.e. Main, Annex, Subsidiary or Outlier sett and whether it is in current use. Closures require continued monitoring of exclusion measures for up to 28 days (in total) completed by an ecologist. Once clear a sett can be carefully removed under supervision of an Ecological Clerk of Works. For short term disturbance works near to a sett we have also successfully obtained licences for temporary closure of setts. This involves humane exclusion until all works are completed at which point badger are allowed to re-enter the sett with exclusion measures removed.
Where a main sett is being closed it would typically be expected for a developer to create a new artificial sett elsewhere within the clan’s territory as compensation. Our ecologists have also been instrumental in design and creation of new setts and continued monitoring of setts to establish success of our compensation measures.