Families living in a peaceful cul-de-sac in Stourbridge, West Midlands are worried their homes may be in danger due to badger setts in their gardens. The animals have dug holes large enough for a grown man to climb into and one elderly resident has already seen her garden wall collapse, and had to have 18 tons of debris and soil removed.
Residents are worried the badgers could begin digging underneath the foundations of their homes, leaving them in danger of suffering from subsidence or even collapse. The badgers are destroying gardens, and there are worries homes could become unsalable as it would be impossible to get a mortgage on a house suffering from subsidence. Badgers are protected in England, under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act, and homeowners have to obtain a special license from Natural England allowing them to control the problem. Under the terms of the act it’s illegal to remove badgers, to interfere with their sett, or to kill or injure them in anyway.
According to the report in the Daily Mail, a badger unit has been set up by the local council to assess the problem as the animals are also digging underneath a community center and a car park. The unit consists of officers from conservation, planning, and housing, and they are looking to talk to Natural England to obtain advice on the most appropriate way of dealing with the problem.
The Daily Mail calls them giant badgers which sounds slightly confusing as the UK only has one kind of badger and it grows to about 30 inches long. While this is a relatively big animal, I’m not sure you could consider it to be a giant. It’s likely to be an emotive subject whatever happens as badgers have been persecuted for years, and in the past many have been culled supposedly to help prevent the spread of TB.