Harris Lamb’s in-house ecology team has secured a dedicated licence enabling it to expedite works to badger setts, cutting licence application waiting times by four to five weeks, enabling clients to safely undertake site-works and keep their development on programme.

Stuart Silver, an Associate within the business’ Environment team, has become a Registered User of the Natural England Badger CL35 Class Licence, allowing licences to be registered in quick time providing permission to undertake disturbance works, sett closure and sensitive destruction of badger setts between 1 July and 30 November.  As with regular licensing, all works are carried out in strict accordance with a detailed method statement agreed with Natural England. 

The licence will enable the registered user to register a site and obtain a licence to take action within five working days, saving weeks of time usually associated with securing such permissions.

badger sett closure licence
Sett works in progress

Stuart said: “Having carried out extensive projects to protect and re-home badgers I am delighted to have been granted access to this licence, enabling us to be more reactive to meet our clients’ needs.  Being awarded access to this system involves having proven experience from previous licences of using specific exclusion methods, and having designed competent schemes to safely exclude badgers from their setts without causing harm, ensuring that Natural England is satisfied it will be used responsibly and within the specified timeframes within the ecology calendar”.

“This licence will have a significant impact on the work we undertake on our clients’ behalf. Applying for an individual licence via traditional routes would typically have a determination period of 30 working days, so having that time reduced to just five days allows us to be much more reactive and process sites quickly, thereby allowing clients to commence their works without impact to programme.

Harris Lamb have provided support at a number of developments across the UK in the past 12 months to ensure badger setts are legally and safely closed with badgers re-homed in new artificial badger setts.

Stuart added: “The team has constructed six new badger setts within the past badger mitigation season and we are pleased to say all have been successfully adopted by badgers.  This licence will give the team increased capacity, allowing us to be more reactive and deliver essential badger works for our clients right up until the end of the season.”

For further information on the delays badger presence can have on development, and the legal requirements to protect and relocate them, contact Stuart on 0115 985 3146 or at stuart.silver@harrislamb.com.

Badger image: iStock/Jrleyland