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Badger unearths graveyard remains at Devon church

20 April 2010 - BBC News

A badger sett is causing problems in a church cemetery in Devon because at least one animal is disturbing graves and unearthing human remains. It is thought a number of animals have built their home among headstones at St Theresa's Roman Catholic Church in Sidmouth.

The church said it would rebury remains and re-consecrate any disturbed ground. Father Daniel Longland, of the church, said: "These people who are buried here and their bones have got to be reinterred. They can be prayed for the same as if they were being buried the first time."

East Devon District Council said it was restricted in the action it could take as badgers are a protected species. One possible solution being considered is to get permission from Natural England to install a flap at the entrance of the sett which would allow the badgers to exit but prevent them from getting back in again. However, it would not prevent another one from being constructed nearby, possibly again in the graveyard.

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