Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Badger Operation Ends

Finally, it's over. I went to the site today to seal the gates and declare the area no longer a badger sett. Actually, it'll be Natural England who do this; allowing us to carry out essential maintance work early next year, as long as we keep the entrances sealed, and the tunnels clear till work begins.

Now I have to provide a short report of what work I carried out and send it to NE.

I was accompanied to the site by two colleagues and a couple of contractors who drove us to the site, and assisted in the physical work.

Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse today, of all days, making it difficult to get to the site and making it very very cold on site. So I was unable to retrieve the gates as I wanted. At £60 a pop, I don;t want the civil engineers to put them in a skip, as they may well do if I'm not careful.

I will now put together an information pack on how to excude badgers, how to deal with Natural Englans, the legal situation, etc. so that others within my company can carry out the same exercise, potentially saving us thousands of pound of contractors' fees.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

After another long period of inactivity on the blog.

The long gap has been mainly because I've been working on two of my other blogs quite intensively. I would link them but they're still far from being ready for public consumption - if they ever will be that is. Though I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find them if you found this. Most of the rewrites I've been doing are still on the laptop; I'll need half a day set aside to upload it all and rearrange things so they fit in with my latest plan.

The best bit will be putting all the embarrassing photos up from 80s and 90s - and sending out links to all parties involved.

My badger operation has been ongoing. Pics to come. I have now fitted 5 one-way gates now, to each of the sett entrances. If you're a regular reader you'll remember I had originally thought there were only four entrances, but last week I was stunned to find a previously completely hidden 5th entrance. So I ahd to remove the debris covering it and install a further gate and fencing to ensure that the little critters can't get back in. Luckily they won't be able to do much more than try to dig their way back in at any weak spot I've inadvertantly left.

There has been a certain amount of scraping around where I've fitted the barriers, and noise at night apparently: brer badger trying to get back in.

Then this week I found a newly dug, foot deep hole just in front of sett entrance four ( I have numbered them all for clarity) - it amounts to a very serious attempt to get back in. So I was up at the site on Wednesday with my arm shoulder deep up a badger hole (oo-er - or giggity for our younger readers) trying to find out where it ended and if it indeed connected anywhere with the sett. It didn't. So, for now, the operations are ongoing.

I've soft blocked the hole so I can see of they've had another go at it when I next visit. If all checks out I'll putting in a stronger block to keep them from extending their new hole.

I'm up against it time-wise as my license ends on November 30th so will have to be done by then. Getting some interest from my colleagues now, so really hope that I can continue.

The next step will be a presentation and a set of guidance notes for anyone else who wants to exclude badgers from a work-site under license.

in a hole: the badger

First off - clear vegetation round the hole if necessary, and then hammer in one way wooden gate which is spiked at the bottom (That's my able assistant in the photo)

Next - cut badger proof fencing to size and fit in place around the gate and sett entrance.

Wire firmly to gate

This is the finished arrangement around one of the setts.

The site in this case is a railway embankment - a fairly steep incline and not at all easy to work on.