There are big celebrations going on this weekend (23 April) for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare, so we are bringing you a little known (though unverified) fact from his literary legacy: badgers are not mentioned in any of his writings. Why? We need to do more research to answer that but perhaps there weren’t many about and didn’t exist in folklore, like the bats, newts, snakes and slow worms. But we don’t need to do more research to tell you why we recommend that you may need a badger survey.

Today, badgers are well known… as charismatic creatures of the night, the face of The Wildlife Trusts, for being the subject of culling controversy and for adding costs and delaying development. Whatever your views on the badger it is a protected species in the UK. Unlike other protected species that we survey for your projects, the badger is not endangered or protected in terms of its conservation status but protected due to welfare considerations as a result of persecution in the past. The animals and their setts are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

This may seem at odds with the culls happening in some parts of the country but the legislation remains that you will be breaking the law if you:

  • intentionally capture, kill or injure a badger
  • damage, destroy or block access to their setts
  • disturb badgers in setts
  • treat a badger cruelly
  • deliberately send or intentionally allow a dog into a sett
  • bait or dig for badgers.

This is why we undertake badger surveys for you; to help you avoid breaching the legislation and ending up with up to a 6 month prison term and unlimited fine.

Badger surveys that we undertake for your project will:

1. determine if there are badgers that may be affected by your proposals.

2. help us advise you with an appropriate course of action to remain within the law. This may be altering your site layout, the timing of works or applying for a licence from Natural England if disturbance to badgers or damage to their setts is unavoidable.

3. help us apply for a badger licence (if necessary) on your behalf.

As with most things related to wildlife there are seasonal restrictions and a survey may require several weeks of monitoring. The most important one to remember in relation to badgers is that works under licence can only be done between July and November. So, as ever, the sooner we know the situation on your site the sooner we can advise you on the most effective and efficient solution and set (no pun intended!) the wheels in motion if a licence is required.

For help and advice, call your nearest branch:

Exeter: 01392 366512

Bristol: Tel: 0117 923 2768 / Mobile: 07971 994324

Guildford: Tel: 01483 382821 / Mobile: 07443 652988