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Badger licences

Badgers and their setts (burrows) are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. This makes it an offence to kill or take a badger, to cruelly ill-treat a badger, or to interfere with a badger sett, including disturbing a badger while it is occupying a sett.

Licences to permit otherwise prohibited actions can be granted under section 10 of the Act for various purposes. This includes licences to interfere with a badger sett for the purpose of development as defined by section 55(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Licences may be granted in order to close down setts, or parts of setts, prior to development or to permit activities close to a badger sett that might result in disturbance. A licence will be required if a sett is likely to be damaged or destroyed in the course of development or if the badger(s) occupying the sett will be disturbed.

Licences to trap or kill badgers cannot be granted for the purpose of development.

Licences can be applied for at any time, but a licence for development will not normally be issued unless full planning permission has been granted. The closure of setts under licence is normally only permitted during July to November, inclusive.

Applications for licences should be made to the relevant statutory conservation body: in England, Natural England; in Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales; and in Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage.

Natural England aims to determine whether a licence should be issued within 30 days of receipt of the completed application and all necessary accompanying documents.

There is no fee payable for this type of licence.

View further guidance on Gov.uk

Download application forms

Wildlife Assessment Check

The Wildlife Assessment Check is a free online tool is free that identifies whether there are any protected or priority wildlife species in the location where proposed works are to take place.

Find out more