Badger tunnels hit flood defences
1 November 2005 - BBC News
Each sett is thought to have housed about 15 badgers River defences in a
high-risk flood area of North Yorkshire are being undermined - by burrowing
badgers. Engineers have carried out £20,000 of work near Malton to mend two
sections of flood embankment riddled with holes.
Before work could start, the protected badgers had to be temporarily moved
out and permission sought from Defra.
The Environment Agency said the growing badger population meant damage to
embankments was now becoming "more of an issue", but remained under control.
spokesman said: "Any damage to flood defences has to be taken seriously because
the embankments are there to protect built-up areas where people live. In these
two cases the badgers had created a honeycomb of tunnels which were an estimated
20 metres in length. As a result, massive holes appeared which weakened the
Engineer Matt Smith, who worked on the scheme, said: "We have repaired two
flood defences in Ryedale so far due to badger setts. Our scheme makes the
embankments badger-proof by driving steel piles through the middle which
prevents them from tunnelling too close to the water-side of the bank."
Before work could start, the badgers were removed by installing cat-flap
style doors at the entrances to their sett, which allowed them out but not back
They occupied a neighbouring sett during the work and were then allowed to
return to their original home.
"It means that badgers can have their homes while we can ensure that
residents' houses are not affected," said Mr Smith.
News of the repair work coincides with the launch of an Environment Agency
flood awareness campaign to mark the fifth anniversary of the devastating floods
which hit large areas of Yorkshire at the end of October 2000.
For more information, please click the following link: