Best practice guidance for developers, ecologists, and planners
Badger Trust is pleased to release new guides for England and Wales focused on planning and development issues and the impacts these can have on badgers, their setts and habitats. These guides aim to widen knowledge and make best practice requirements easier to understand among planners, developers, ecologists, local authorities, wildlife crime investigators and nature lovers so that badgers are properly protected.
The rise in property, infrastructure and road expansion projects means planning and development now represent one of the most significant threats to our wildlife. Badgers and their setts have unique protection under the Protection of Badgers Act (1992), and it is illegal to disturb, harm or destroy a badger or its sett either with intent or through negligence. With development projects occurring daily across the UK, it remains incredibly important that interested parties understand the law and best practice guidance when encountering this iconic mammal and its habitat.
Planning and development activities are some of the most common threats to badgers reported to Badger Trust. Over 50% of badger crimes reported relate to sett interference, and 20% of these are related to housing and development projects.
Dr Hannah Trayford, Campaign and Research Manager for Badger Trust said:
“We get reports every week from local badger groups and individuals on planning and development issues affecting badgers and other wildlife. These guides aim to help planners, developers, ecologists, planning authorities, and local people know what they need to take into account, so that new developments make space for badgers and our precious wildlife is properly protected”.
Dr Trayford added,
“All too often, developments don’t make space for badgers, with dire consequences for this iconic mammal. Badgers are unique, with their setts and habitats protected under the law. Badgers follow the same foraging pathways across generations and are an essential part of the ecology of the countryside. Now more than ever, we must protect nature and ensure humans can live harmoniously with badgers and other wildlife. These guides help anyone involved in the planning process in England and Wales to do this and make adequate Space for Badgers.”
Ensuring proper “Space for Badgers” gets planned into developments is a key purpose of the guides. Good planning and ecological practices protect the welfare of badgers and ensure no laws are broken.
Two guides are available – one focused on England and one focused on Wales, with forewords by Chris Packham CBE for the England version and Iolo Williams for the Wales version.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this guide, particularly Badger Trust’s Planning and Development Working Group members.
The England and Wales guides will be available after noon on 29 August 2023 for download from the Badger Trust website – www.badgertrust.org.uk