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 marked out as part of HS2 has been home to badgers for almost a century and some setts have been in place for generations.
But now badgers are being moved on with wire netting and one-way gates in order to make way for the development.
With breeding season fast approaching, many badgers trying to find new homes have been found killed on local roads in Wendover, 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: A one-way gate
Badgers are being moved on with wire netting (pictured) and one-way gates in order to make way for the development
The HS2 High Speed Rail from London to Birmingham is destroying swathes of the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Natural England, the Government’s adviser for the natural environment, is responsible for issuing licences in terms of badger interventions.
They will issue licences and deal with any suspected breaches of the terms of those licences, the conditions of which should be based on relevant ecological studies.
Sett exclusions can be carried out until November 30, as sows are unlikely to be pregnant until mid December and cubs born usually in late winter to early spring.
An ecological survey is carried out in advance to determine what setts are present.
Ecological surveys were carried out on the phase 1 route in 2012 through a process of site visits, desk studies and aerial photos, followed by detailed surveys.
With breeding season fast approaching, many badgers trying to find new homes have been found killed on local roads in Wendover
Badger setts are known to be passed down through generations and some badger setts are known to be over 100 years old
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.’
Badger Trust, as the national organisation, is working with HS2 on badger and badger habitat protection issues as needs arise.
The public are asked to contact their local badger group if they are concerned by any development works, whether HS2 or more residential and business projects.