Black Law Windfarm Badger Exclusion
Practecology was commissioned to act as an Agent under a Badger Development Licence and exclude a main badger sett located at Black Law Windfarm, North Lanarkshire.
The badger sett was located under the foundations of an old cottage and adjacent outbuildings which had been derelict for several years. As the cottage was a health and safety concern to the developer it was intended to demolish it. To ensure that no badgers were harmed during this process, a licence to temporarily exclude the sett was granted by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). On completion of the works the exclusion devices would be removed and the sett left available for badgers.
Before badger gates could be fitted over sett entrances and galvanised chain link mesh laid over the ground all vegetation needed to be cleared. Once this was done a more detailed survey of the sett was undertaken to identify entrances which may have been overlooked, assess the likely orientation of tunnels, determine the likelihood of tunnels being linked below ground, and to rule out any entrances which were not excavated by badgers. From this survey is was confirmed that not all parts of the sett were below ground. Badgers had collected large amounts of bedding under the floor of an old chicken shed, which on lifting it, showed several sleeping areas.
Footprint of works established
Loose floorboards of chicken shed....
...reveal above ground sleeping area
Using our knowledge and experience gained from countless badger exclusions our ecologists ruled out several entrances which were not part of the badger sett. However, a total of ten badger gates were installed and galvanised chain link mesh that covered approximately 250msq was laid - quite a substantial exclusion.
All gates were deployed open for two days so that badgers could become accustomed to them before being set to swing two-way and one-way in line with the conditions of the SNH licence and recognised guidance. Once the gates had been on for their required duration, the cottage and associated outbuildings were demolished under the supervision of the Client's ecologist. Any debris was removed from the sett entrances, entrances re-profiled where necessary and all material which could interfere with badgers using the sett was removed.
During the works no badgers were encountered confirming that the exclusion had been a success.