Eurasian Badger by kallerna via Wikimedia Commons

To book your Preliminary Scoping 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 will require 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, which usually starts with a survey.

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/Extended Phase I Habitat Survey or a Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers is necessary.

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 Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers, 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 a 30m radius around the site boundary
(NB it is not necessary for you to be present during the survey as long as there is open access to the site and the surrounding 30m. Please ensure any alarm/lock codes/keys are sent to us in advance).

- A copy of your Preliminary Ecological Assessment or 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 Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers takes place during daylight hours and can be conducted at any time of year, with the optimum being between February and April inclusive, and September and November inclusive, when badgers are active but there’s less vegetation to hide field signs.

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 survey is to establish the current status of badgers in the area, suitable food resources and habitat requirements, to assess the impact of the development in relation to badgers and to ascertain whether additional surveys are required.

The surveyor inspects the site, and the 30m surrounding the proposed development area boundary, for evidence of its potential to support badgers, including the following signs:

- sett entrances

- badger paths

- latrines (dung pits)

- scratching posts

- evidence of digging for food

- badger hair on fences or bushes

- footprints

- snuffle holes

If a sett is identified, all holes are closely examined and the number of entrances and evidence of its usage is recorded. Where possible, setts identified during the survey are categorised as Main Setts, Annexe Setts, Subsidiary Setts or Outlying Setts using nationally recognised sett classification. The surveyor will use these classifications and the findings of the site inspection to assess the potential for badgers and make recommendations accordingly, which may be that the development can go ahead as planned or that further surveys are required.

It is not necessary for you to be present during the survey as long as there is open access to all of the land in need of surveying, including 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.

Midland Ecology includes as standard a Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers as part of a Preliminary Ecological Assessment or Extended Phase I Habitat Survey. Assuming access can be gained to the 30m surrounding the proposed development area boundary on the same visit, no further cost will be charged.

The cost of a Preliminary Scoping Survey for badgers is determined by the size of the site to be surveyed. Our fee includes the desk study, site visit 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.

Unless these have already been obtained as part of a recent survey on the site, biological records data will also be required. This is provided by your local biological records centre, who will charge their own fee. We will contact them for a quote on your behalf.

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

Depending on your local records centre, Biological Records Data (BRD) can delay the final version of your report. We will request a probable timescale when obtaining your quote, and advise you immediately of any likely delays.

If badgers, badger setts and evidence of their activity are all absent from the site, then no further visits are normally required.

If evidence of badgers are found, and the proposed development is likely to destroy setts or foraging areas, or separate badgers from their foraging grounds, Full Badger Surveys may be required to:

- Estimate territorial boundaries

- Assess impacts such as increased conflict between badger clans

- Identify locations for mitigation measures