Badgers are nocturnal and typically emerge from their underground tunnels (setts) from dusk. They do not hibernate fully during winter but activity levels are reduced and if the weather is particularly cold badgers may not emerge at all. Dry grass or straw bedding may be visible at sett entrances over winter, as badgers leave these out to air in the sun.

Regular daytime vegetation clearance has the potential to disturb active setts, as resident badgers are highly likely to be sleeping within the sett during the day. However, as badgers are known to build setts in areas with a high base level of disturbance (e.g. along roads and railways), the use of hand tools should not significantly disturb nearby badgers. Works with heavy machinery, including saw-mounted vehicles, are much more likely to disturb badgers and collapse setts.

  • Always conduct a survey for badger setts at site as part of pre-works checks, particularly if the worksite supports agricultural land or deciduous woodland. 
  • If badger setts are found, consult with an ecologist to ensure that works will comply with the relevant legislation. Extensive destructive works will require a mitigation licence from Natural England.
  • Always avoid blocking sett entrances with fallen vegetation, and where possible keep the use of heavy machinery to a minimum.

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use the site. These will be set only if you accept.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page. Cookie Control Link Icon

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.