EcoNorth > What We Do > Protected Species & Habitat Surveys > Badgers



Badgers and their setts are protected under:

  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
  • The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 (as amended).

This legislation makes it an offence to deliberately or recklessly kill, harm, or take a badger from the wild. It is also an offence to deliberately or recklessly destroy, damage, disturb, or enter a badger sett.

When do I need to get in touch?

Badgers are secretive and it is possible to be unaware of their presence on a site. If you suspect badgers or their setts are present or are unsure if you require a badger survey or badger protection, simply get in touch.

Additionally, a site’s potential to support badgers is usually identified within a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal/Extended Phase 1 Survey.

How can EcoNorth help me?

EcoNorth is experienced in undertaking all types of badger assessment, licencing, and mitigation as required under current best practice guidance from Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage. As badgers are a protected species, certain activities require a licence from Natural England or Scottish National Heritage:

  • Any survey that involves the disturbance of a sett or badgers within a sett requires a survey licence.
  • Destroying or relocating a sett in order to complete a development requires a mitigation licence.

The most commonly used assessment is known as an activity survey. This involves checking your site for field signs, which include latrines (badgers dig small holes to defecate in), snuffle holes (disturbances to top soil and vegetation made when foraging), push-throughs (small gaps in vegetation boundaries where mammals have ‘pushed through’, possibly leaving behind hair), footprints, and badger setts themselves.

Bait marking surveys are essential for determining the extent of badger territories. This is especially useful if multiple setts are present in the area affected by a development. Bait marking is also essential for determining the location of alternative setts should one be destroyed, or determining the ideal location for a replacement, artificial sett for mitigation purposes.

Camera trap surveying can be useful in ascertaining whether a badger sett is being used. Motion-activated cameras are deployed near badger sett entrances, left out for several days, retrieved, and the images are then analysed.

We deliver professional, comprehensive reports based on our findings to support your projects planning application or other consenting process whilst maintaining the strictest confidentiality. Any reports produced must remain confidential due to protection offered to badgers and their long-standing history of persecution in the UK.