About Badgers

Badgers live in underground setts which they typically dig into earth embankments, hedge bottoms and undisturbed  field margins. The underground sett tunnels particularly in a main sett can be elaborate and extend from between 20 to 100m in length. Badgers live within a social group known as a clan.

Badgers have a varied diet and will eat nuts, berries and particularly earthworms which often  form as much as 60 per cent of their diet. In a single night, an adult badger may eat well over 200 worms!  Whilst foraging for earthworms they bury their snout into soft ground making circular depressions known as snuffle holes. Their powerful claws can also be used to rip up the ground whilst they forage for food after dusk. Badgers will sharpen their claws on tree trunks leaving distinct marks known as scratching posts.

Badger cubs are mainly born in February within a breeding chamber lined with bedding material. The cubs typically emerge from underground in May as food resources become more abundant. By the end of June cubs will be displaying most adult social behaviours, including grooming and scent marking.

Under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, in England and Wales (the law is different in Scotland) it is an offence to: Wilfully kill, injure or take a badger. Intentionally or recklessly damage or destroy a badger sett, or obstruct access to it.

Our Badger Services

We undertake badger surveys throughout the UK. We also apply for badger development licences if these are required, for example, in relation to sett closures or other potentially damaging activities near active badger setts. A licence to exclude badgers or destroy setts can only be implemented between 1 July and 30 November.

Initial site surveys will identify sett locations and type (main setts, subsidiary setts or outlier setts), latrines, habitual badger runs scratching posts, hairs, badger foraging areas and likely territories. More detailed population dynamics can be understood by using badger bait marking surveys.

Our team of ecologists have a wealth of experience in dealing with this species and we offer a complete service including badger survey, licensing, badger sett re-location and artificial sett design construction.

Examples of  our work with Badgers

United Utilities PLC

Numerous badger surveys of land holdings throughout NW England. Implementation of mitigation measures.

Highways Agency

Badger surveys, licensing and mitigation for major road projects in North Yorkshire and East Midlands.

Numerous badger surveys and licensing throughout England and Wales for small – large scale developments

Badger Surveys Case Study

We were commissioned to apply for a badger licence to relocate an existing badger sett on the site of a new care home. This involved closure of the existing sett and creation of a purpose built artificial  sett nearby.

The artificial sett was colonised almost immediately by badgers. Subsequent monitoring of the sett continues to show intensive use of the artificial sett by this clan of badgers.

Quick Contact

If you would like to discuss how Pennine Ecological can help you, please get in touch with us.