Badger surveys

A survey to determine the presence or likely absence of badgers should be undertaken at most greenfield and some brownfield sites since badgers are both abundant and widespread throughout the UK.

Since they are principally nocturnal animals, surveys concentrate on searching for evidence of badgers rather than seeking to record the animals themselves. Signs of badgers’ presence on a site include setts (categorised as main, annexe, subsidiary or outlier), latrines (dung pits), tracks, hairs caught on fences and vegetation, distinctive pathways through vegetation, scratching posts, feeding signs, snuffle holes in grassland and day nests.

Badger surveys can be carried out all year round, though a better understanding of how badgers use an area can be more accurately obtained between Autumn and Spring (avoiding the coldest months) when vegetation is sparse enough to locate setts and other signs easily, and badgers are at their most active.

Our survey and mitigation strategies are guided by best practice, including Natural England and Mammal Society publications, and our surveyors meet the competencies set out by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Where badgers may be affected by a development, our specialists can provide advice on suitable mitigation options and guidance on minimising ecological risk. To allow works to proceed lawfully, we can apply for the development licences necessary on your behalf.

Further reading and related articles

Thomson’s ecology handbook

This online version of the Thomson’s ecology handbook provides a general overview of current wildlife legislation* and is aimed at helping project managers understand and plan for ecology from the start.

Find out more

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