Ecologists will be monitoring recorded setts close to our waterways and checking out new ones.
Often found near the country's canals, badgers live in large family groups, and make their homes in underground setts comprised of networked tunnels and entrances. Prolific diggers, these can extend over large areas, and include several ‘chambers' for the animals to nest in.
Change in appearance
Laura Mullholland, ecologist at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Badgers are really fantastic animals, but having them near canals presents a bit of a challenge as when it comes to digging they don't always know when to stop. In the past, we have had cases where they've dug right through embankments, so this process – to monitor setts and make sure they're not getting too close – is really important.
“What we're looking for is any change in the appearance of the sett, or any signs that it's getting bigger. We're also looking into new reports of where badgers might be setting up shop. Having them here isn't a problem in itself, and we'd always rather leave them be as then we can keep an eye on them. It's only when they're very close to getting wet we'd look to strengthen the bank. We've still got more to check up on, but luckily none of the setts here look like they're too much of a concern.”