Eurasian Badger taken with an infrared camera on a full badger survey

To book your Full Badger Survey

Call Midland Ecology

0121 517 0841

or email

For fast, friendly and affordable service

Badgers (Meles meles) and their setts (tunnels and chambers where they live) are protected by law.

If badgers are found on your site, in most cases, you should be able to avoid harming the badgers by adjusting your planned work. If you can’t avoid disturbing them or damaging their habitats, you may be able to get a licence from Natural England. If you need to apply for planning permission, your planning authority should check you’re taking the right steps to avoid harming them.

You may be required to undertake surveys for badgers if there is a risk that your development may present harm to them or destroy their habitat.

Your local planning authority should advise you, or your architect, that a Preliminary Ecological Assessment, also known as an Extended Phase I Habitat Survey, or a Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers is necessary. If these surveys identify badger setts on site or within the surrounding 30m, or badger evidence, e.g. latrines, runs or hair, then full badger surveys will be needed.

Badgers Meles meles are vulnerable to baiting, hunting and the detrimental impacts of development on their habitat. Both the badger and its habitat are protected under The Protection of Badgers Act 1992, Schedule V of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and Appendix III of the Bern Convention 1979.

Cumulatively, this legislation makes it illegal to:

- Kill, injure, take or possess a badger

- Interfere with, damage, destroy or block access to setts (even accidentally)

- Cruelly treat or harm a badger

- Disturb a badger in a sett

- Deliberately introduce a dog into a sett

- Bait badgers

- Dig for badgers

- Possess, sell or offer for sale a live badger

- Possess or control a dead badger or parts of a badger (if unlawfully obtained)

- Mark or attach a device to a badger

Bovine TB is mainly a disease of cattle, but is also known to be present in badgers in parts of England and it is believed that the disease can be transmitted between the 2 species. There is evidence, from the randomised badger culling trial, to suggest that badgers contribute to bovine TB in cattle. Based upon this information, Natural England have issued culling licences for selected areas in the UK. These are trial culls, in order to determine whether culling can help to control this disease.

Click here for further information regarding Bovine TB and badgers.

If you carry out work affecting protected badgers or their habitats without a license you will be breaking the law.

Penalties on conviction include

- A maximum fine of £5,000

- Up to six months in prison

for each illegal sett interference or damage or death to a badger.

In order to conduct your Full Badger surveys, Midland Ecology will require the following information:

- Your/your client’s name and contact details (e-mail address and telephone number)

- The full site address

- Access to the site and badger setts within 30m of the site on all survey dates
(NB it is not necessary for you to be present during the survey as long as there is open access to the site and any other badger setts within 30m. Please ensure any alarm/lock codes/keys are sent to us in advance).

- A copy of your Preliminary Scoping Survey for Badgers and/or Preliminary Ecological Assessment/Extended Phase I Habitat Survey if carried out by another ecologist.

- Full site plan (current condition in PDF format).

- Your development proposals (in PDF format).

A minimum of 3 weeks of activity checks are undertaken. These can be conducted at any time, but are best carried out between February and April, or September and November, when badgers are at their most active.

Click here to view our survey calendar

Assuming visibility is not affected, this type of survey can be conducted in any weather.

The aim of the Full Badger Survey is to observe and catalogue the use of the site by badgers and to make recommendations for minimizing the effect of the development or applying for a disturbance/exclusion licence.

Inspections make use of the following methods to detail activity (one or more of the following can be used to determine badger activity):

1. Sand traps (to identify badgers using an entrance from tracks left in the sand).

2. Taped sticks (to trap hairs, badger hair is distinctive).

3. Infrared Camera traps.

The surveyor will set up the traps and carry out activity checks for a minimum of 3 weeks. These surveys are usually undertaken between February and April or September and November, when badgers are at their most active.

It is assumed that a desk study, including Biological Records data, will have been included in the Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers or Preliminary Ecological Appraisal/ Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey and this will, therefore, not be duplicated in this report.

It is not necessary for you to be present during the survey as long as there is open access to all of the badger setts identified in the Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers or Preliminary Ecological Appraisal/ Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey as in need of surveying, including within the site itself and the 30m surrounding the proposed development area boundary. Please ensure any alarm/lock codes/keys are sent to us in advance.

The cost of Full Badger Surveys is determined by the number of setts to be surveyed, and their use by the badgers. Our fee includes the desk study, site visits* and the production of a report, with associated costs (e.g. mileage*, expenses) all included. Call us on 0121 517 0841 or e-mail us for a more detailed quote.

* Depending on the results of the initial activity checks, further surveys may be required. Your surveyor will discuss this with you and agree any further costs before undertaking the work.

Midland Ecology aims to have your finished report with you within 10 days of completing the final day of surveying.

If no badgers are found to be using the site or the surrounding 30m area, then this type of survey will usually provide adequate evidence to satisfy your local planning authority that your proposed development poses no risk to badgers.

If badgers are found, or if the survey cannot conclusively rule out recent badger activity, there is no need to panic – it does not usually mean that your development can’t go ahead, in fact it is very rare that a development will need to stop altogether. A European Protected Species (EPS) development license issued by Natural England (NE) will be required prior to any works taking place and you may need to adapt your plans slightly to compensate and mitigate for the badgers. Midland Ecology can work with you to obtain this development license and design a mitigation and compensation strategy to be implemented with Natural England and the Local Planning Authority.