Badger Surveying and Mapping for Planning

Badger surveying and mapping is the practice of using surveying and mapping techniques to study and monitor badger populations and their habitats. Badgers are nocturnal and elusive creatures, making direct observation challenging.

Therefore, ecologists often rely on various surveying and mapping methods to gather data on badger presence, behaviour, and habitat preferences. As badgers are a protected species, badger surveys may be required to support a planning application to gain planning permission if there are signs of badgers in the area.

Badger surveying and mapping can also identify whether any mitigation methods may be required. This may include creating artificial setts or relocating badgers away from any potential harm.

badger surveying and mapping

Badger Surveying and Mapping Techniques

Standard badger surveys – A standard badger survey involves recording any signs of badgers, such as setts, paths, or footprints. If a badger sett is discovered, monitoring of the sett may be required to find out if it is being used by badgers.

Badgers may be observed around their setts at night using infra-red video surveillance technology or camera traps. This can provide evidence of badgers, as well as giving an estimation of population sizes. 

Badger bait marking surveys – Badgers use dung pits to mark their territories; ecologists study these areas to determine the territorial boundaries of badger social groups. Ecologists place harmless plastic pellets into badger bait foods, such as peanuts and syrup, which are visible in the badger’s droppings.

The plastic pellets are placed at each sett with different assigned colours. This provides us with an understanding of these social groups by examining the colours of the pellets in the dung pits.

Habitat mapping – Ecologists use mapping technologies to identify and characterise the habitats preferred by badgers. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be employed to create detailed maps that show the distribution of suitable habitats, including factors like vegetation type, soil quality, and proximity to water sources.

Burrow Mapping: Badgers create complex underground burrow systems called setts. Ecologists can use ground-penetrating radar and LiDAR technology to map these burrow networks without disturbing the animals. This information helps in understanding badger social structure, reproduction, and denning behaviour.

Badger surveying and mapping in ecology serves as a valuable tool for understanding the behaviour, distribution, and ecological role of badgers in their ecosystems. It aids in informing conservation efforts, promoting biodiversity, and ensuring the sustainable coexistence of badgers and human activities.

How Can Collington Winter Assist?

Collington Winter Environmental is a Landscape Architecture and Ecology consultancy with an experienced team of ecologist. We provide highly professional badger surveying and mapping services to developers on all types of projects. Our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, holds a Natural England licence and has worked with protected species across the UK, undertaking ecology surveys and writing scientific reports for submission.

Please get in contact with our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington (, for more information on protected species surveys and mitigation.

We also provide preliminary ecological appraisal and assessment services.

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