Protected Species | Badgers
Peak Ecology provides expert advice in relation to badgers and have extensive experience of surveys and mitigation.
The services we can offer in relation to badgers include:
- Habitat suitability survey (normally as part of an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey)
- Bait marking surveys and activity levels at badger sets
- Mitigation and habitat management advice
- Artificial sett design and creation
- Method statement production
- Mitigation licence applications
For example, we carry out badger surveys as standard on each Extended Phase 1 survey that we undertake; this usually involves a desk study consultation for existing records of badgers, a thorough search of the site for evidence of badger and an assessment of the potential of the site to support badgers in the near future. As part of this, we would recommend basic mitigation to avoid harm to badgers in the areas. This could involve slight re-routing of access routes, to avoid passing in close proximity to a badger sett or the covering of trenches overnight to prevent foraging/commuting badgers from becoming trapped.
However, where there may be more direct impacts on badger setts, we also carry out badger monitoring surveys, such as to determine whether a potential sett entrance is in use or not and large scale bait marking studies to determine the use and status of particular setts or landscapes.
Peak Ecology also has experience of applying for badger disturbance and sett closure licenses in both England and Scotland and we have a sound knowledge of the different interpretations of the legislation in these two countries. This usually involves production of a Method Statement and often the design and construction of an artificial sett will also be required.
If you are interested in any of our services, don’t hesitate to contact us >>
Badgers | Case Study
Stobart Group – London Southend Airport – Badger Bait Marking Study
A badger survey was undertaken on airport land and land in the immediate vicinity of the airport, and the locations of badger setts were mapped and their status assessed. A confidential report was produced at this stage and provided to the client.
It was necessary to undertake works at the airport in order to ensure that the airport operators conformed to health and safety requirements and a badger sett had been identified in a bund, which need to be reprofiled as part of this works. There was no alternative but to destroy the sett. Prior to this, the use and status of the sett needed to be determined.
Peak Ecology Ltd carried out a badger bait marking study of both this sett and additional setts in the area. Training was also provided to airport employees on basic badger ecology and survey techniques in order to enable them to continue the bait marking study without on-site input from Peak Ecology, thereby reducing their costs.
The bait marking study involved the positioning of peanuts and syrup marked with different coloured fine plastic beads outside various badger sett entrances. Badger dung pits, or latrines, were then checked over the following days and the coloured beads recorded. This enabled the surveyors to determine which setts are active and how badgers are moving around the site, this survey technique can be used to determine territorial boundaries.
Sticks were positioned across the sett entrances, as these would be moved by any badgers entering or leaving the sett and sand was also placed by the sett entrances to record any footprints. The sticks remained in place and there were no footprints on the sand. These checks and the fact that the sett entrances were filled with debris and cobwebbed, combined with the bait marking study confirmed that the sett in the bund was disused and could then be destroyed.