The Northern Ireland Badger Group endeavours to offer independent and impartial advice on badgers, their behaviour and their welfare. It also offers support to individuals or groups who wish to protect the interests of badgers and their habitat. All enquiries are treated in confidence, however Badger Group representatives are obliged to report any knowledge of criminal activity to the authorities.


The badger (Meles meles) is a protected species listed on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and, as such, these animals, their setts and access to their setts are protected from disturbance at all times.  ....more about the law


Anyone considering any activity that may result in disturbance to badgers or their setts, such as building works, should seek advice from the local Council Planning Office. We strongly recommend that developers commission a survey to assess the possibility of any direct or indirect threat to badgers on the immediate site or neighbouring lands/premises. The NIEA publishes the following guidelines for developers:

Badgers and Development and Survey Specifications


Anyone concerned about the impact of building works or a planning application on badgers, or any other protected species of plant or animal, should contact their local Planning Office. Any incidents involving disturbance to badgers or their setts should also be reported to the police.


Developers are legally obliged to address the needs of protected species and habitats. Planning Service is required to take account of protected species and habitat conservation when it considers planning applications.


Planning Policy Statement 2 (PPS2) - Planning and Nature Conservation outlines the criteria that Planning Service employs when processing planning applications which might affect nature conservation interests and to which developers should have regard when preparing proposals.


The presence of a species protected under the Wildlife and Environment Act is material to the consideration of a development proposal, which if carried out would be likely to result in harm to the species or its habitat and, in particular, to places used for shelter or protection. Where necessary, conditions may be stipulated in a planning permission to secure the protection of the species.


We would expect Planning Officers to take a precautionary approach (Recommendation 1 of the NI Biodiversity Strategy) and seeks a competent and thorough environmental statement regarding the presence of protected species and the likely impact of the proposed development thereon.


For more information or advice on this matter, please contact us

Badgers and development