Following centuries of persecution, badgers and their active setts are protected from harm and disturbance under the Badgers Act (1992). Surveys to establish the presence or absence of badgers may be required where a development will affect woodland, scrub or other habitats with the potential to support this species.
The standard method for carrying out a badger survey is to undertake a walkover survey of the site to check all areas of woodland, hedgerow and scrub for the presence of badger setts. Any badger setts are checked for badger hairs, footprints, bedding or latrines to assess whether they are in current use by badgers (Harris et al, 1989). If badger setts are present within the site then appropriate measures may need to be put in place to allow the development to progress. See our badger mitigation page for more information.