The exclusion, under licence, of three badger setts to make way for development
A Badger Sett Exclusion
Multiple badger setts were identified within a park in Glasgow, three of which were located within the footprint of a proposed development site. Echoes Ecology Ltd were appointed in 2017 to monitor the setts using trail cameras to determine badger usage, and to subsequently complete a sett exclusion.
Camera Trap Programme
The setts were camera trapped in March and April for a period of three weeks. The camera trap data was used to determine that none of the setts were used for breeding.
Badger Sett Exclusion Programme
Three of the setts were at risk of destruction from the proposed development and so were excluded under SNH licence, following best practice guidance, using one-way badger gates over the period July to October 2017. The development footprint was altered slightly in order to retain an outlier sett, so as to provide an alternative sett in the vicinity of those excluded for the badgers to continue using.
The footprint amendment also ensured that the most active sett was not permanently destroyed but temporarily excluded, to allow works in that area to be ongoing. After the exclusion process the tunnels were blocked using galvanised chain-link fencing and then plastic sheeting, which was covered with soil and finally more chain-link fencing, which was secured down using metal pegs. This allowed the entrances to be blocked long-term whilst retaining the underground structure of the sett, with the aim of re-opening the sett once works within 30 metres have been completed, so badgers can reoccupy the sett.
Due to the robust methodology proposed by Echoes Ecology Ltd for the exclusion programme a licence was granted by SNH to allow the sett exclusion to occur. By communicating closely with the client Echoes were able to amend the initial methodology proposed and ensure that the most active sett that was excluded could be re-opened on completion of the development.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the site, a lot of public interference was experienced. Badger gates were tampered with and removed and several of the exclusion periods had to be restarted more than once. Nevertheless, regular monitoring of the site ensured that the setts were all successfully excluded ahead of the development commencing.
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