Posts Tagged ‘badger’

Badger rescue

Friday, July 17th, 2015

As well working as an Ecologist for UES I am vice-chair of the Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group. As a volunteer for the group I am on call to respond to incidents which may include badger injuries, reports or badger persecutions, police incidents and issues with badgers on residential, commercial and industrial properties.

On a sunny morning in summer 2015 a resident of mid-Cheshire had been out at a local woodland walking his dogs when he came across a badger caught in a fence. He quickly returned home and contacted the Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group, and we immediately set out to attend to the badger.

The local man, Harry, came out with us to show us the location of the badger. On arrival we quickly realised that the badger was not caught in a fence but was in fact caught in a snare. At this point it was obvious that the badger had been snared for some time, as the surrounding ground showed signs of disturbance where the young badger had been rolling and digging to try to free himself. He was clearly exhausted and on my approach rather than try to defend himself he attempted to dig his head into the ground. This enabled me to grab the badger by the back of his neck and move him to obtain a better view of the snare. The snare was not of the illegal ‘locking’ type, and I was able to loosen the clasp enough to cut the wire with pliers. I then checked the wire had not cut into the badger before removing the snare. The badger as this point was very submissive, exhausted after his struggle and petrified by being out in the daylight and close to people. I quickly checked the badger for signs of injury – there were no external injuries and the badger had full movement in all limbs. I put the badger on the nearby well-used badger path and he quickly darted down a sett entrance around 10 metres away.

The badger sett was clearly visible from the footpath, and the snare was set on a clear badger track, leading me to suspect that badgers were intentionally targeted. We checked the rest of the area for further snares and thankfully found no more to be present. We informed Cheshire Police and the RSPCA of the incident, and also informed the Snarewatch organisation. The snare was removed and will be used in some of our Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group training sessions to help our members to identify signs of badger persecution.

I have since returned to the woodland to check for signs of similar illegal activity but thankfully have found none. Plenty of signs of badger activity can be found in the area, indicating that the badgers continue to use the woodland as their home. Whilst this was a very unpleasant incident to attend the badger was released shaken but unharmed. We are very grateful to Harry who reported the badger to us, and we are glad that we were able to respond so quickly to an act of badger persecution in our region.

Paul, UES Ecologist

Badgering badgers

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Leicester Magistrates’ Court found a landowner guilty of interfering with a badger sett by damaging and obstructing it.

The landowner had contractors dump soil and rubble on an area around the badger sett, which blocked and damaged it.

The landowner had previously contacted Natural England asking for permission to remove the sett, however Natural England had refused the license as it was unclear who would be undertaking the works.

The landowner was fined £6,215 in total and no badgers were harmed by the landowner’s actions.

Penalties for offences relating to badgers include fines of up to £5,000 plus up to six months imprisonment for each illegal sett interference, badger injury or death.

An extended phase one habitat survey will assess the likely presence of badgers and other protected species and prevent such problems arising. A targeted badger scoping survey will identify any evidence of badger presence on site allowing the landowner to avoid penalties.

UESis an ecological consultancy based in Cheshire who are experts in protected species issues relating to planning and development.

Badgers inherit their setts, some setts can be centuries old

Badger monitoring surveys

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

UES are currently completing badger monitoring surveys of a site in Barnton, Northwich using remote wildlife cameras. Remote cameras are ideal for badger monitoring surveys allowing you to set it up onsite and return later to collect your images. Remote cameras can be set to take pictures or videos regularly with the time lapse facility, or when it is triggered by an animal moving into the field of view. Either way, it gives a remarkable insight into the wildlife in the vicinity.

Now is a great time to undertake a badger monitoring survey as cubs start emerging from their sett in April or early May, which gives them all of spring, summer and autumn to feed, grow, and put on sufficient fat reserves to see them through their first winter.

Find out more information here.

Bovine TB and badger control

Friday, December 16th, 2011

The Government’s policy on Bovine TB and badger control in England has been announced by Secretary of State Caroline Spelman MP. To help control the disease, the Government has decided to proceed with a policy of enabling farmers and landowners to cull and/or vaccinate badgers, under licence, in areas of high incidence of TB in cattle.

David Williams, Chairman of the Badger Trust said: “We are clearly very disappointed by this decision but now that it has been made, we will be studying it with our legal advisors to determine what action we shall take.”

Bats and badgers in Buckinghamshire

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

UES conducted a full bat survey of a barn in Marlow, Buckinghamshire in September 2011. Our client plans to change the use of the barn from agricultural to a dwelling.

Low numbers of common species of bats were observed using the area to forage and commute. The species recorded were Common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus and Soprano pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus.

During the course of the survey some evidence of badgers was found including feeding remains and a latrine. A single badger was also observed in a hole on the northwest corner of the barn.

UES are currently completing badger monitoring surveys of the site in Buckinghamshire using remote wildlife cameras. Remote cameras are ideal for badger monitoring surveys allowing you to set it up onsite and return later to collect your images. Remote cameras can be set to take pictures or videos regularly with the time lapse facility, or when it is triggered by an animal moving into the field of view. Either way, it gives a remarkable insight into the wildlife in the vicinity.

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Cheshire

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Phase 1 Habitat surveys in Cheshire

Phase 1 habitat surveys can be carried out in Cheshire at any time of year however the optimum time of year to carry out habitat surveys is during the spring and summer months when a more complete range of Cheshire’s flora and fauna are active. Phase 1 habitat surveys are used to catalogue the different types of habitat which are found in a given area. The results of the phase 1 habitat survey can then be used to assess the impacts of a development on an area and if necessary to specify if any further survey work is required. An example of this would be if a badger sett was found inside or close to the development area then badger surveys would be recommended, similarly if an area of habitat was found which was suitable for use by breeding birds then potentially breeding bird surveys would have to be completed prior to the start of works. Cheshire has a variety of different habitat types which support a range of different species, from woodlands to urban areas. Phase 1 habitat surveys are usually required prior to the start of development work and can save time as any potential issues with protected species or protected habitats will be highlighted early in the development.

United Environmental Services carry out surveys across Cheshire. The surveys which are carried out in Cheshire include great crested newt surveys, bat surveys, Phase 1 habitat surveys, breeding bird surveys, water vole surveys and a full range of environmental surveys. United Environmental Services also offer landscape design and garden design services in Cheshire and can provide the materials and implementation work if required. We have a team of experienced surveyors, landscape architects and ground workers who work to a high standard across Cheshire.