Legacy Habitat Management are experienced in badger mitigation works including artificial badger sett construction and badger sett closure.
Large scale ground work projects may interfere with the habitat of resident badger populations. This may require the construction of an artificial sett to allow the badgers to be re-housed, and/or the closure of setts to encourage badgers to take up residence in other nearby setts.
Legacy Habitat Management have carried out badger mitigation projects across the UK ranging from the creation of an artificial sett to allow the expansion of a landfill site, to the mass closure of setts along the proposed line of a pipeline installation over 30km of open countryside.
Legacy Habitat Management will work closely with ecologists on design detail for such projects and provide high quality materials and installation to minimise disruption to your groundwork schedule.
Badgers (Meles meles) are afforded protection under The Protection of Badgers Act 1992. This states that it is illegal to kill, injure or take, or attempt to kill, injure or take a badger.
This Act can have consequences for developers wishing to carry out groundworks within the vicinity of badger habitats, making it necessary to relocate a badger population, under licence, to other suitable habitat away from any works.
The licensed closure of badger setts is normally carried out by fixing a badger-resistant ground covering over the entire sett area, held in place by Caudon® High Tensile Steel Pegs to prevent the digging of new sett entrances. Existing sett entrances are then fitted with Caudon® Badger Gates; these can then be set by the project ecologist to allow badgers to escape from the sett at will but not re-enter.
Once the ecologist is satisfied that no badgers are still resident in the sett, it can be dismantled and groundworks can commence. Alternatively an area surrounding the sett entrances can be fenced off with badger proof fencing and Caudon® Badger Gates installed in the fencing at strategic points until all badgers have left the area. In this case the gates would be sett to one way thus restricting re-entry to the sett. The sett area can then be closed.
Legacy Habitat Management will aim to carry out sett closure works as soon as licences are issued to minimise project delays.
Artificial setts may be constructed as part of a sett closure programme, if no other natural setts are available, to provide alternative habitat to compensate for any that is lost.
Design will be done in consultation with the project ecologist but generally setts should be built to contain all the elements that would be included in a natural sett built by the badgers themselves. The basic elements should form a network of underground tunnels, nesting chambers, spoil heaps and entrance holes. Sett size and number of chambers will vary according to the habitat requirements.
Plastic twin wall pipe is used to form the tunnel elements of the sett, some buried pipe ends being left 'open ended' to promote further digging by the resident badgers. The sett should also be positioned so that one of the entrance holes is at the lowest point of the sett to provide drainage. Another entrance hole should also be installed in a raised position to promote air circulation throughout the sett.
Nesting chambers should provide a safe and warm environment for the badgers and should therefore be positioned such that they are not in direct view of any entrance holes. The floor of each chamber should be left as bare earth and should have more than one tunnel exit into the rest of the sett.
Natural looking spoil heaps at sett entrances help give the appearance of a natural sett and may help encourage habitation of the badger sett.
Artificial setts are normally situated on natural badger foraging paths to ensure that they are found by badgers. If this is not possible, it may be necessary to bait the sett to encourage badger inhabitants.