Badgers are a protected species. Both the animals and their setts are protected by law. It is illegal to carry out any forestry work close to a badger sett without taking steps to positively avoid damage and without an appropriate Licence.
It is no excuse in law to be unaware of the presence of Badgers.
Look out for:
• Badger Setts – check the shape of the hole. Badger holes tend to be the shape of a capital ‘D’, with the flat side downwards, and are at least 20-30 cms wide.
• There may be signs of freshly excavated material at the entrance or piles of leaves, dry grass, straw or bracken, which the badgers take inside to use as bedding. Large spoil heap outside main sett. This may contain old
bedding, bits of fur, and even small bones.
• Good foot-prints will show a prominent central pad, and either four or five toes, with good claw marks.
• Badger hair on barbed wire and other wire fences, or under fences
Avoid prosecution: It is a criminal offence to:
• Kill, injure or take a badger.
• Disturb a badger when it is occupying a sett.
• Interfere with a badger sett by damaging or destroying it.
• Obstruct the access to, or any entrance of, a badger sett.
✅ Immediately STOP work and inform your line manager manager if you see a badger on your site, discover a badger sett or see other evidence.
❌ Use any machinery or fell trees within 20 metres of a sett.
❌ Proceed with any operations until advice has been sought.