Did you Know?

Penalties for offences include fines of up to £5000, plus up to six months imprisonment, for each illegal sett interference, badger injury or death.

If evidence of badgers is found on site after works have started all work in the area must cease immediately and an ecologist appointed to liase with the relevant statutory bodies.
Works may have to be delayed until mitigation can be carried out at the appropriate time of year.
An Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey in the planning stages of your project will indicate the presence of badgers on your site.

Badger (Meles meles)

Badgers can be found throughout the UK with the largest numbers in the south of England. Badgers live in networks of underground tunnels called setts which they dig using their long claws. They live in social groups of around 5 adults which are usually headed by a dominant male and female (boar and sow). Badgers prefer sloping ground and sandy soils which are easier to dig into, with a mosaic of habitat features such as deciduous woodland, pasture and arable habitats. The main preferred habitat features are:
• Soils which are well drained and easy to dig, but still firm enough to prevent roof collapse
• Adequate food supply available throughout all seasons
• Sufficient cover to allow inconspicuous emergence from setts
• Relatively free from disturbance

What do badgers eat?

Badgers eat a wide range of plants and animals depending on what is available at the time of year. A badgers diet consists mainly of earthworms and they can eat as many as 200 per night. They are opportunists and will eat whatever is available such as insects, birds, small mammals, fruits and berries, cereals, reptiles and amphibians and occasionally the contents of your bin.


Heavy persecution of badgers in the 19th century caused numbers to drop dramatically and by the end of the 19th century badgers were considered rare. It is believed that most of the pressure on badgers at this time came from gamekeepers who saw them as an immediate threat to livestock. The Badger act 1973 (and amendments 1981, 1991, and 1992) has helped badger numbers to recover and today they have an estimated population of around 300,000.
The main threats today are:
• Road accidents
• Culling to prevent bovine tuberculosis, which is highly controversial
• Illegal badger baiting, digging up setts, setting up snares, shooting and having their sett holes blocked
• Habitat loss and fragmentation

What can you do?

An Extended phase 1 habitat survey prior to the start of any works on site will identify badger habitats and field signs and enable you to plan for any necessary licensing and mitigation work.

Contact us for any advice relating to your project.


Case Studies

Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2)

December 2016
Site: Phase 2a for High Speed 2 (HS2) - from the West Midlands to Crewe Client: Biocensus c/o Arup ##Project overview In spring 2016 UES were subcontracted ... more...

Protected species surveys in Lydney

August 2016
Site: Lydney, Gloucestershire Client: MMC Land and Regeneration ##Project overview UES were instructed to carry out ecological surveys on a former golf cours... more...

Badger survey in Worcestershire

April 2015
Site: Evesham County Park, Worcestershire Client: Eagle One Country Shopping Ltd Protected species: Badgers ##Project overview UES carried out a preliminar... more...

Bat survey in Wilmslow, Cheshire

March 2012
UES have completed a bat survey and habitat survey of a property in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Bat surveys of the buildings on site consisting of initial building ins... more...

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Bats and badgers in Buckinghamshire

November 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 dw... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

Great crested newt trapping scheme

November 2010
Project summary In 2008/09, UES were instructed to conduct a Great Crested Newt (GCN) mitigation scheme for Augean PLC at Slipe Clay pits in King’s Cliffe, n... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Ecological surveys and advice in Congleton

October 2010
In August 2010, United Utilities and their associated agents The Vinden Partnership applied for planning permission for slope stabilisation works adjacent the ... more...

Ecological Surveys near Nantwich in Cheshire

October 2010
United Environmental Services were commissioned to carry out an Extended Phase 1 Habitat survey, bat surveys, barn owl surveys and to provide advice on any grea... more...

Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey Flintshire

May 2010
United Environmental Services have completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of a site near the town of Flint in North Wales. The site has been a dis-used br... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...