Protected Species | Scottish Mammals
In addition to bats, badgers, otters, water voles and deer, Scotland is home to some mammals that are rare or non-existent in other parts of the UK. Namely, wildcat, pine marten, red squirrel and more recently with re-introduction schemes, European beaver.
Peak Ecology has specialist knowledge of these species and experienced surveyors are available to cover all areas of Scotland. We undertake surveys and mitigation works for all the above species and recent projects have included the excluding of badger setts and using camera traps to monitor otter holts. Our extensive experience with species such as badger and otter in relation to developments, flood relief projects and forestry operations allows us to provide a detailed service from the initial survey through licencing and, where required, mitigation.
These species are considered during extended Phase 1 Habitat Surveys or during protected and priority species walkovers, however occasionally projects require further details on, or monitoring of, these species in which case monitoring schedules can be designed to meet the requirements set out by the appropriate authorities. We can also provide specialist input during mitigation design, for example artificial badger setts or otter holts.
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Badgers | Scottish Mammals
Fountains Forestry – Otters & Forestry – Penmansheil, Scottish Borders
Otter surveys were undertaken prior to forestry works near Penmansheil. A suspected natal otter holt was located close to the proposed operations area. Peak Ecology used camera traps to monitor the holt for otter activity.
Forestry Commission – Scotland Protected Species Survey
Surveys were undertaken of a farmstead and derelict buildings at a site near Dornoch. Evidence of at least two species of bats was found and a well-used pine marten den. Recommendations were made to include further surveys work and mitigation measures, prior to a planning application.
Fountains Forestry – Badger Exclusion, Dumfries
Following protected species surveys in a small plantation scheduled to be clear-felled it was deemed necessary to exclude and destroy a small badger sett on site. This was carried out under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage and involves covering the sett with specialised wire mesh with two-way badger gates at the entrances to the sett.
The gates were set to two-way operation for a period of time before being reset to outwards only for a further period of time, to allow badgers to exit but prevent them from re-entering the sett. After a further two weeks of no activity the sett was determined to have been successfully excluded and was destroyed under supervision of an Ecological Clerk of Works.
Protected Species | Badger Sett Exclusions
Badger sett exclusions are sometimes required on development sites, or prior to timber harvesting operations.
These are carried out under licence from the appropriate authority (e.g. Scottish Natural Heritage) and under the supervision of a suitably qualified and experienced ecologist.
A sett exclusion is only carried out as a last resort and where there is no satisfactory alternative (for example a sett is located on the only possible route for a timber extraction road in a forestry plantation).
The process consists of cutting back the vegetation over the sett and covering the sett with specialist chain-link badger fencing.
Two-way badger gates are then secured into the fencing at the location of the sett entrances (as in the image to the right).
The gates are then sett to two-way operation for a set period of time, before being reset to outwards only for a further set period of time. At the end of the process the sett is declared to be successfully excluded and can then be destroyed under the supervision of one of our ecologists,
Malcolm Ginns, our principal ecologist in the Dumfries and Galloway office has supervised a number of sett exclusions in Scotland, successfully guiding clients through the process from the initial survey, through the licence application, to the final destruction of the sett.
Fountains Forestry – Sett Exclusion near Central Scotland
A sett exclusion was undertaken in an area of conifer plantation in order to facilitate quarrying of stone to provide hardcore for timber extraction track. Prior to the exclusion, extensive surveys were carried out within the plantation in order to determine the level of badger activity in the area and the local significance of the sett in question. The client also carried out searches for other sources of stone, and the sett was only excluded as a last resort.
Fountains Forestry – Sett Exclusion near Southern Scotland
A small outlier sett was excluded in a forestry plantation to facilitate timber harvesting. The plantation was a small plantation on a steep slope sandwiched between a road and a river. Therefore there was no alternative that allowed the sett to be avoided and thus exclusion and destruction of the sett was the only option.