Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A New Home For Badgers

Turnstone Ecology were recently commissioned to create an artificial badger sett.  The sett  was created as later in the year a main (and currently used) badger sett will need to be closed to allow a permitted development to continue.  The sett will be closed under licence issued from Natural England and the creation of an artificial sett is central to this licence application and mitigation plan.

The new sett is located in a quiet corner of a future public open space area and had to be created in an area of open ground which was flat.  The flatness presented a slight problem but with a bit of earth-moving a two-tier mound was created; in to which plastic pipes and chambers were placed.

Due to the flatness of the area in which we were asked to create the new sett a lot of earth moving was required.
 Once the initial ground works were complete the pipes and artificial chambers were set out.

We created two larger chambers that had one or two 'open' sides which will hopefully encourage any badgers using the new sett to dig their own tunnels and chambers.

The central area between the two tiers has been left free of pipes and chambers and the hope is that this area will be 'dug out' naturally.

 Close up of one of the large central chambers.  The open sides were closed off slightly before filling in with top soil/spoil but large gaps were left to encourage the creation of natural tunnels and chambers.  The chamber was stuffed with fresh hay.

The picture (left) shows the final layout of the 'top' sett. All of the chambers were filled with soil and had a maximum of three pipes leading in to or out of the chamber.

Two-tiered artificial badger sett

Once all the initial earth-works and setting-out had been completed the final stage of the process was to cover the whole lot in approximately 1.5 metres of soil to create a large artificial earth bank.  Once completed the areas around each of the pipes was dug out (to allow any badgers to find the tunnels) and a layer of sand placed outside each entrance hole.  The sand layer is placed at the entrance holes to allow us to monitor any usage of the new sett by badgers. 

Landscaped mound showing new entrance hole.  The hole has a layer of sand at the tunnel entrance and we have scattered some fresh hay/bedding material on the 'spoil' heap.  Care has been taken to create as natural an entrance as possible.

The artificial sett will be regularly checked to look for any signs of activity and we will update our blog with what we find.

Final shot showing the finished spoil heap with a bespoke artificial badger sett.  The sett is located in an area in which the badger clan are known to forage and it is hoped that the new sett will be used very soon. 

The artificial sett will be regularly checked to look for any signs of activity and we will update our blog with what we find.

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