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GEOPHYSICAL
ENGINEERING

Badger Setts

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In the UK, badgers are a protected species under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. This act makes it illegal to take, injure, kill or be cruel to badgers as well as cause any disturbance to badgers while they are in their setts. This can present a big issue to clients who are hoping to commence an archaeological excavation or have plans to develop an area of land.  

It is important to consider the potential impact on badgers before any work is undertaken on a site. Especially if the site is greenfield, where it is likely that badger setts will be present.

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Above : Entrance to a badger setts discovered by SUMO GeoSurveys.

Badger Setts are not always evident by just spotting entrance holes. They are often a vast network of tunnels and chambers forming a complex underground territory extending from anything between 20 – 100 metres and may have one or several entrance points!

 

Mapping the entrances of the badger sett can give you a basic understanding of the area taken. But, to further understand the badger sett you will need a geophysical survey. This will give you information about the central nest, tunnel layout and the depth of the tunnels.

 

The tunnels are often large, so they show similar characteristics to voids. This means that the same equipment used for the location of voids can be adapted for badger sett surveys. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is ideal for mapping the location and extent of setts.

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Above : Example Radargram (section view) of GPR showing voids relating to Badger Setts.

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Above Left : Example Timeslice (plan view) of the site showing the tunnel layout of the sett. There are three entrances located on the right-hand side of this image. Above Right : Example GPR interpretation showing the extent of badger sett on site.

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Geophysical Engineering Surveys
 

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