Badgers are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. It is illegal to willfully kill, injure, take, possess or cruelly ill-treat a badger, or attempt to do so; to intentionally or recklessly interfere with a badger sett by damaging or destroying it; to obstruct access, or any entrance of, a badger sett and to disturb a badger when it is occupying a sett.
This means the presence of a badger sett on a site proposed for development could be a constraint even if the sett itself is not going to be damaged or removed. In many cases, you should be able to avoid damaging, destroying or blocking a sett.
However, for unavoidable works that will destroy, damage or destroy a badger sett, a protected species licence will be required from Natural England supported by survey data on the badgers on site.
This licence will permit actions that may disturb the badgers (over and above what they are used to), including most types of building work within 20m of a sett and the use of very heavy machinery within 30m of a sett. Disturbance will only be allowed between 1st July and 30th November.
Sonar Ecology can support our clients through this process from the initial sett survey through to the necessary monitoring surveys, mitigation plan and licence application should this be required.