Animal lovers have blasted HS2 builders for evicting badgers on the route of the £72billion rail project by using netting and one-way gates to get them out of their setts.
The land that is part of HS2 was home to badgers nearly a century ago. Some setts are still in existence for several generations.
Badgers now have to be removed with wire netting and gates that allow for movement of the other animals in order make space for the new development.
Badgers are looking to move on as the breeding season approaches quickly. Many were killed while trying to relocate along local roads in Wendover and Buckinghamshire.
Animal lovers have blasted HS2 builders for evicting badgers on the route of the £72billion rail project by using netting and one-way gates to get them out of their setts. Pictured is a one-way gate
The development will see the removal of badgers using wire netting (photo) and single-way gates.
The HS2 High Speed Rail, which runs from London to Birmingham, is destroying vast swathes of Chilterns National Park.
Natural England, the Government’s adviser for the natural environment, is responsible for issuing licences in terms of badger interventions.
They will issue licences to the holder and take action if the terms are suspected of being violated.
It is possible to exclude setts until November 30, since sows will not be pregnant by December 31, and cubs typically are born between late winter and early spring.
A preliminary ecological survey determines the location of setts.
On the Phase 1 route, ecological surveys were performed in 2012. This was done through site visits and desk studies, as well as aerial photos. These are followed up by detailed surveys.
Many badgers looking for new homes are fast approaching and many have been killed by Wendover residents.
Badger setts can be handed down from generation to generation, and some badger sets are over 100 years of age.
Jo Bates-Keegan, Chair of the Badger Trust, said: ‘This is a distressing example of the reality of what badgers face in terms of the development impact on their natural environment – whether it be a huge infrastructure project such as HS2, or one of the many local building projects that take place up and down the country.
‘To the best of our knowledge, at this stage we do not believe any illegal activity has taken place, but are monitoring the situation with the assistance of our local badger group.’
As the nation’s organisation, Badger Trust is working closely with HS2 to address badger habitat and other protection concerns as they arise.
Public are encouraged to reach out to their badger groups if they have any concerns regarding development, whether it be HS2 residential, commercial or mixed-use projects.