As part of our ongoing ecological service provision to Severn Trent Water, RammSanderson recently provided advice to Severn Trent to inform a proposed pipeline upscaling at one of its treatment works. We provisionally undertook a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) of the existing Sewage Treatment Works, during which, three badger setts were identified on-site. One of these was a Main sett and sat directly on top of an existing pipeline that required replacement.

A Main Sett is where badger clans will spend most of their time and will use these setts for breeding. As this sett needed permanent closure to facilitate the works, a new, artificial sett was required as mitigation to provide a replacement home for the clan, prior to the closure of the existing setts on site. In March 2021, RammSanderson designed and built alongside our in-house Habitats team a new artificial badger sett.

Camera traps were also set up to monitor the sett entrances in the hope of capturing the badgers using the new sett. During this time, the cameras caught the badger clan on-site investigating and utilising the entrances of this artificial sett. Confident that the clan had discovered their new home, a licence application was subsequently submitted to Natural England to close the existing setts on-site to facilitate the replacement pipeline for the Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Gabrielle Cruttenden, lead ecologist on the project said “It’s brilliant to see the new sett in action and the badgers enjoying their new home. It’s been such an interesting project to be involved in”.

Andy Ashpole from RammSanderson’s Habitats Department said “Building the Sett was a relatively easy process and it’s great to be able to provide a long-term option for this site. Our next steps will be to plant the area with native species to befit the clan and also achieve Severn Trent’s Biodiversity Net Gain”

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