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.