The Ecology Consultancy was commissioned to survey the badger population on a farmland site post planning permission and to make recommendations to mitigate for any disturbance caused by the proposed development.
We found that a large badger sett would be significantly affected and consequently we supervised the creation of an artificial badger sett as part of mitigation works for future development.
The artificial sett was located within 100m of the existing main sett and was constructed by The Badger Consultancy. First, a trench approximately 1 metre deep, 2-3m wide and 15 metres long was dug. Plastic tubes, which would act as badger tunnels, were then laid in the trench. Wooden stakes were driven in to keep the tubes in place and to create chambers for the badgers. To prevent earth falling into the chambers and to cover the sett, plywood boards were placed on top, and overlapping, to make it more difficult for anyone to disrupt the sett.
The sett was then covered over with earth up to a metre in depth with some earth being placed inside the tunnels to enable the badgers to grip when passing through. The entrance holes to the plastic tunnels were left open and the earth next to the tunnel entrances were shaped to create an artificial spoil heap, making it more realistic for any passing badgers!
The new sett was monitored for a full year to see if badgers took up residence. In order to make the new sett more welcoming we spread peanuts along the well-trodden badger paths. The artificial sett has also been fenced and planted with native species to encourage badgers to the area through providing shelter and by protecting the sett.
This case study utilised tested methods of badger sett construction that have been successful in other similar situations. Our video shows that this was also successful!