01285 610145 (Cirencester) | 029 2002 2320 (Caerphilly)
Wales and the South West

Badger Surveys

Badger Surveys


Wildwood Ecology can undertake a survey of your land (or proposed land purchase) for badgers, as part of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal. Detailed subsequent surveys to inform appropriate levels of mitigation or compensation for a development licence application can also be performed.

Badger surveys methods include searches for signs of badger activity and presence (setts, paths, latrines, scratch markings, recent digging, and nesting debris).

For further information on our badger or other protected species surveys, call us on 029 2002 2320.

Badger legislation and protection

Badgers and their setts are protected in England and Wales under theProtection of Badgers Act 1992, making it illegal to:

  • Wilfully kill, injure, take, possess, or cruelly ill-treat a badger;
  • Damage/destroy/obstruct their setts; or
  • Disturb a badger in a sett;

Sentences include six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5000 (per badger).

The legislation is primarily based on animal welfare, protecting badgers from baiting and other persecution; it also encompasses development activities such as road and housing developments, forestry and agricultural operations.

It is important that proposed developments take adequate account of badgers at the planning stage in order to ensure that badgers will not be affected or, where a licence is required, that appropriate mitigation measures can be implemented and positive impacts maximised.

Licences are issued by a Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (e.g. Countryside Council for Wales or Natural England) to permit legitimate developments or activities that would result in a disturbance or other offence being committed, which would otherwise be illegal. These are restricted to specific purposes, and full ecological survey information would be required.

Key facts – Badgers

  • The European badger, Meles meles, is widespread throughout the UK. They are elusive nocturnal animals, feeding largely on earthworms and insects.
  • Badgers are burrowing animals and live in social groups in holes (setts) formed by series of underground tunnels and chambers.
  • Each group of badgers controls its own territory, comprising main setts, smaller outlier and auxiliary setts, well-worn paths, and a series of latrines marking the boundaries.
  • Setts are usually built into slopes and can be found in rural and suburban areas within features such as hills, road/rail embankments, field boundaries under the roots of trees and hedges, caves, mines, rubbish tips, and gardens.