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Badger exclusions and sett closures

badger exclusion blocking sett tunnel Client: Somerset County Council Property Department

Services: Badger exclusion


Objective: The exclusion of badgers and subsequent closure of part of a large sett which had undermined a shed adjoining Brock House Children’s Centre.


Outcome: A licence to close the part of the sett that had caused the shed to subside was obtained from Natural England and one-way gates were fitted to the entrances of tunnels. Badger activity was detected on the fourth visit to the site and the exclusion period of 21 days was therefore reset. To ensure the exclusion progressed without any further delay it was necessary to block a side tunnel connecting to the main part of the sett. Following a further 21 day period of exclusion, the partial closure of the sett took place and welded wire mesh was buried around the perimeter of the shed to prevent future damage by badgers.



Badger exclusion fencing Client:Somerset County Council Highways Department

Services: Badger exclusion


Objective: Somerset County Council Highways Department had serious concerns for the safety of their road users as a result of a collapsing carriageway, caused by an extensive badger sett underneath the road. First ecology was employed to assess and close the sett, ensuring all legal stipulations for badger protection were met, allowing road works to take place which would restore the road to a safe condition.


Outcome: Detailed on site assessment of the sett was undertaken by First Ecology ecologists, identifying the best approach to ensure successful and lasting exclusion. The sett in question was extremely active and the source of on-going problems; previous mitigation attempts having failed. As such, it was necessary to ensure the First Ecology approach to the problem was robust enough to succeed. Extensive ground netting was therefore deemed necessary to prevent badgers regaining entry to the site, additionally, all-metal one-way badger gates were fitted to every suspected entrance to the sett. Once exclusion provisions were in place, on-going monitoring was undertaken by First Ecology to meet conditions of the licence and determine when sett closure and road works could take place. After all badger activity in to and out of the sett had ceased, and 21 days had elapsed (as stipulated by the licence), the sett was closed, all gates were removed and remaining holes securely patched with steel mesh. First Ecology ecologists supervised the following road works, ensuring all aspects of the closure and filling in of the sett were carried out in a manner which complied with licence conditions. After road works were completed, the carriageway was returned to a safely navigable state. To further ensure the sett remained closed and badgers did not return, First Ecology ecologists conducted several follow up visits to maintain the ground netting and check for signs of badger re-entry.



Badger exclusion and sett closure at a school

Client: Somerset County Council.

Services: Badger exclusion at Bucklers Mead Primary School, Yeovil, Somerset


Objective: The exclusion of badgers from beneath Bucklers Mead Primary School.


Outcomes: In order to prevent any serious damage to the primary school a licence was obtained from Natural England to permit the exclusion of badgers from beneath the building in the period from the 25th October to the 30th November 2013. To avoid disruption to classes, works were scheduled during the half-term closure and involved the installation of weld-mesh exclusion fencing around the base of the building with one-way badger gates to allow badgers to exit from but not enter the enclosed area. The sett was then visited at intervals of no more than three days to inspect the gates to ensure that they opened and closed freely, and to check for signs of badgers having regained access to the sett. After a period of 21 days the sett was declared inactive and the gates were replaced with wire mesh to prevent future access to beneath the school.



Sett exclusion badger gate

Client: Somerset County Council

Services: Badger exclusion along Parsons Drove, Westhay, Somerset.



Objective: The closure of a badger sett along Parsons Drove in preparation for structural repairs to the vehicle track.


Outcomes: Initial surveys revealed the presence of a single outlier badger set entrance to the west of the drove. In order to ensure compliance with wildlife legislation precautionary mitigation measures, agreed with Natural England, comprised the appropriate timing of the works, sett exclusion using a badger gate, activity monitoring at three day intervals, and permanent sett closure after a period of 21 days of no activity.


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