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Badger Watch Schemes

RSPB Spotlight on Badgers book
James Lowen explores the lives of badgers and their communal living, feeding habits and threats to their conservation. Click here to buy:
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Importantly, very many Badger Groups now have effective Badger Watch schemes. These may be run solely by the local Badger Group or another interested party, but commonly involve liaison with the local Police Wildlife Liaison Officers.

Whilst setts located deep in remote uninhabited woodland are difficult to watch; these are often relatively safe due to their remoteness. Other relatively safe setts, are those located in ground with very large rocks and most "artificial" setts build by badger groups.

Setts in very prominent, well-seen locations tend to be relatively safe too; because even a particularly moronic badger baiter will not wish to risk being seen by many local residents (even if he already has a criminal record; he probably won't want the 5,000 fine that goes with a conviction for badger baiting).

The setts at highest risk of being attacked are those which are near to public roads, without too far to walk or climb, without houses nearby and with ground that is easy to dig with shovels and picks. Often these setts are protected by installing wire-mesh overlays and concrete pipe-work and nesting chambers; and are regularly patrolled by friendly badger-watchers. Increasingly, many badger groups are acquiring night-site equipment which allows them to see badger baiters and poachers in total darkness. High-risk setts will also be known to the Police WLO, and may even be programmed into the digital maps stored in Police Helicopters.

As the efforts of the badger baiters increase, more and more badger setts are being protected with concrete ceilings, coining the colloquial phrase "badger bunkers"!

Badger Survey informs planning in Aberdeen

While planners in Aberdeen had long been aware of the protection afforded to badgers and their setts under the Badgers Act 1992, lack of information about the location of badgers in the city made it difficult to give them adequate consideration when dealing with development proposals. The Council therefore enlisted the help of SNH to undertake a badger population survey. The completed survey has provided the Planning Department with details of setts and foraging areas to inform plan-making and development control decisions.

In our view this was a superb idea; as for the time being it allows the decision makers in Aberdeen to make decisions based on accurate evidence, as opposed to the sometimes sporadic mention of badgers which can be made in other localities.

For more information, please refer to:

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