We undertook plenty of badger mitigation work in 2023, with licences obtained by our ecologists to cover disturbance to a number of setts, where this was unavoidable. This included helping Natural England to trial their new online badger licence application process, which was pretty smooth and efficient.
In Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire we successfully implemented the temporary closure of a sett which was undermining a road and footway, allowing repairs to occur and a curtain of barrier fencing to be installed underground to prevent reoccurrence. Once complete, the obstructions were removed and the sett has been made available to the badgers once again (as shown in the photograph).
Elsewhere on this site, a significant sett in the centre of the new development area was closed under licence in 2022 and a four entrance artificial sett built nearby. Despite construction activity, it’s great to see the artificial sett has been well-used this year. Not only is there fresh spoil and activity around all four holes, the badgers have built an extension and added a rear doorway!
It’s always good to see mitigation succeed: having the experience to pick the right spot and build an artificial sett in the right way is crucial. And for the project to succeed and avoid delays, good advice is essential, along with the experience to skillfully navigate the licensing process.