UK Caving

TRIP REPORTS - what have you been down to? => Digging & Exploration Trips in The UK => Topic started by: Chocolate fireguard on January 27, 2017, 09:33:24 am

Title: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on January 27, 2017, 09:33:24 am
We've been back at Manor Vale Cave for a few weeks now after a 10 year gap and the difficult removal of a troublesome badger that had taken up residence in the mean time. (Yes we did have a licence to evict it!)


What reason did you give to get the licence?
I would like to think it would have to be something a bit better than "We would like to do some digging to see if there is a cave there, please."


Global Moderator Comment Original thread here: http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21501.0 (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21501.0)
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Fulk on January 27, 2017, 09:46:37 am
Chocolate fireguard:
Quote
What reason did you give to get the licence?
I would like to think it would have to be something a bit better than "We would like to do some digging to see if there is a cave there, please."

Hmmm . . . I rather hope that the 'powers that think they are' would accept digging for a cave as a good enough reason.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: topcat on January 27, 2017, 11:09:56 am
Aye, a very poor/weak reason for evicting a badger.  Shame.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on January 27, 2017, 11:23:35 am
  'powers that think they are'

Oh dear.  ::)
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: mch on January 27, 2017, 11:28:24 am
Yes, it's a shame that digging a cave is seen as having priority over letting badgers live their lives undisturbed. I would be interested to know what you did with the badger after 'evicting' it?
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Fulk on January 27, 2017, 11:42:10 am
Fair comment about evicting badgers; what I was getting at is that it would be nice to think that someone in authority actually took notice of cafers.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on January 27, 2017, 12:28:12 pm
Yes, it's a shame that digging a cave is seen as having priority over letting badgers live their lives undisturbed. I would be interested to know what you did with the badger after 'evicting' it?

Presumably the badger was rehomed.

From "The Badgerland Blog", one of several sources easily found on the internet:
"Badger licences are normally granted because there is a genuine need to move the sett. Some-one just not liking the idea of them coming into a garden to forage for worms is not a serious enough reason – even if they cause lawn damage. The licence process is looking for a serious health and safety reason (such as building/road subsidence or digging into a flood defence) or because of a need to move the sett to allow the development to take place. There is no provision in the law to simple render the badgers homeless or to have them killed. This is why a badger licence will normally require the landowner to build a new artificial sett for the badgers nearby. The licence will then normally require that the badgers are monitored to see that they have been accessing the artificial sett. This may require night-time observations or the use of infra-red wildlife cameras. Once it is clear the artificial sett has been explored by the badgers; the process of closing down the natural sett can start."

There's a lot of work and prior planning that would have gone into getting that licence (not just coming up with a good reason).
They would probably not have got the licence without a badger survey being done and unless they had a tame expert that would have cost them.
Meanwhile, having done a bit of research into what their obligations were likely to be, they would have gone about building a new sett.

From the same source as above:

"In order to get the badgers into any new sett, an expert will need to get them out of their old sett. However, there is a "closed season" for evicting badgers from setts; and this normally runs from about December to June. During these months there may be young cubs underground; which would starve to death if their mother was captured above ground and could not return to feed them."

From the OP it sounds as though they avoided this closed season.

I doubt that anything illegal has been done, and presumably the cavers will supply details of the licence they got from Natural England (it's not in the public domain for Data Protection reasons).

But I still think it's a shame.

Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: GarDouth on January 27, 2017, 02:33:46 pm
Removing the badger was not taken lightly. We were aware of our obligations and it took over two years of discussion and monitoring. It was not re-homed as such it eventually left of its own accord and we proved it had not returned for 28 days.

I'm not here to prove our legality in digging practices. I just wanted to post a report.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Badlad on January 27, 2017, 04:01:30 pm
Good report and an interesting dig - worth waiting for.

I imagine the term 'evicting a badger' was just used to put background on the story.  I doubt it was meant to be taken so literally.  If anyone is so concerned about badger wellbeing they should worry more about the thousands of badgers that have being culled by DEFRA in an attempt to control bovine TB.  In 2015, 756 badgers were killed in Dorset, 432 in Gloucester and 279 in Somerset.

Anyone who has been affected by this thread should contact the Buttered Badger Caving Club for advice and counselling.

 ;D
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Simon Wilson on January 27, 2017, 04:31:55 pm
Interesting report.

Anyone who knows Gary and the history of his club's digging wouldn't question his credentials as a responsible caver.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: mch on January 27, 2017, 05:29:35 pm

Anyone who has been affected by this thread should contact the Buttered Badger Caving Club for advice and counselling.

 

 :clap2:
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on January 27, 2017, 06:32:07 pm

I imagine the term 'evicting a badger' was just used to put background on the story.  I doubt it was meant to be taken so literally.  If anyone is so concerned about badger wellbeing they should worry more about the thousands of badgers that have being culled by DEFRA in an attempt to control bovine TB.  In 2015, 756 badgers were killed in Dorset, 432 in Gloucester and 279 in Somerset


If it wasn't meant to be taken seriously why say they had a licence?

I think I have lived for long enough not to need advice on whether or not I should be concerned about a possible illegal act.
Even from somebody who may think they can get away with it because they own the site.

Removing the badger was not taken lightly. We were aware of our obligations and it took over two years of discussion and monitoring. It was not re-homed as such it eventually left of its own accord and we proved it had not returned for 28 days.

I'm not here to prove our legality in digging practices. I just wanted to post a report.

Oh come on!
Removing the ...         ...it left of its own accord....     Which one was it then?
It was not rehomed as such it eventually left of its own accord.   After being "monitored" for more than 2 years I am not surprised.
How did you "prove" it had not returned for 28 days? And to whom? English Nature?

Which leads on to this licence you had. Will you please give details? I have emailed English Nature to ask if there was such a licence granted for that map reference (SE 69420 86860) and have received an automated reply saying they will get back to me within 10 days, but if you provide details on this site or via a PM and it is obvious that you have gone about this in the right way I shall let this go because there will be nothing more I can do. Just as there is nothing I can do about the legal badger culls.

This is not personal. I just think that if a creature that can do virtually nothing to defend itself from people has been given the protection of the law it was for a good reason and any person or group of people who are shown to have broken that law should be held to account.




Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: alastairgott on January 27, 2017, 09:39:14 pm
How did you "prove" it had not returned for 28 days?

Flour?
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Badlad on January 27, 2017, 10:16:49 pm
Chocolate Fireguard - I don't really see your point.  Are you just trolling?

Personally I'd like to hear more about the progress in this dig as I am sure many other forum users would.  Dig threads of the like of Rowter, Eldon, Tankard are incredibly popular.   It is a shame you feel the need to attack a perfectly legitimate post as I doubt very much that it will encourage further posting on the dig's progress.  And that is a loss to us all. 

There is always the PM system if you wish to ask more discreet questions about the OP without ruining everybody's fun.

 :thumbsdown:
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Speleotron on January 27, 2017, 10:56:39 pm
Yeah Fireguard stop badgering them  :kiss2:
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: RobinGriffiths on January 28, 2017, 12:08:00 am
Yes, wouldn't be good if digging reports went underground again...
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on January 28, 2017, 02:26:21 pm
Chocolate Fireguard - I don't really see your point.  Are you just trolling?

Personally I'd like to hear more about the progress in this dig as I am sure many other forum users would.  Dig threads of the like of Rowter, Eldon, Tankard are incredibly popular.   It is a shame you feel the need to attack a perfectly legitimate post as I doubt very much that it will encourage further posting on the dig's progress.  And that is a loss to us all. 

There is always the PM system if you wish to ask more discreet questions about the OP without ruining everybody's fun.

 :thumbsdown:

I'm not trolling.

If you  don't see my point I can only suggest you reread the last 2 paragraphs of my last post.

But I think you might mean “I understand that you are concerned that the diggers might have evicted the badger without going through the correct legal process, but I wish you would let the matter drop, or at least do it via PMs which are not public”
My suggestion of a PM in the above-mentioned paragraphs was ignored.

Why on earth should the diggers stop posting on future progress, just because somebody they have never met has mistakenly said they might have done something wrong?

I am aware that it is quite possible that the diggers did have a licence as the OP said but have chosen not to prove it because “Why the hell should we? Sod the bastard.” Perfectly understandable, but that meant there was only one outfit I could ask, and now English Nature are involved things will have to run their course.

If it turns out that a licence was issued I shall certainly apologise to the diggers on the forum and donate £100 to their digging fund or any charity they want.
If there was no licence I would think it reasonable for them to give the same amount to Badger Trust or similar charity.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: mch on January 28, 2017, 02:40:03 pm
Badgers are social animals that live in family groups. Like groups of other animals there will be a dominant male who may from time to time eject a younger male from the group who it sees as a potential rival. These single males will go off on their own for a time and then join another family group or form one of their own. I am assuming that the solitary badger in Manor Vale Cave was a male (unusual to find a solitary female). My point is that what were English Nature doing granting a licence for the removal of this solitary male when they should have known that its residence was only going to be temporary (as proven by the fact that it apparently moved on of its own volition)? Do they not employ people to assess licence applications who have knowledge of badgers? I find this quite worrying.
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: andrewmc on January 29, 2017, 02:13:54 am
Do you need a licence for the monitoring?
Title: Re: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: owd git on January 29, 2017, 09:40:38 am
Badgers are known to use multiple setts during the year, and even co-habit with other mamals, so it'as possible 'moving on' is a valid descripton of events. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: Chocolate fireguard on February 04, 2017, 08:45:43 pm
Natural England have said that a licence was issued to close a badger sett at Manor Vale Cave. I had asked about the reasons given, but a Freedom of Information request would be needed.

I have been told by people who have experience of these things that NE would never issue a licence to remove a badger just because cavers wanted to dig.

So I still don't understand why “difficult removal of a troublesome badger” and “ licence to evict” appeared in the OP. It dismayed me and I am sure others felt the same.

With little information from the diggers, and wanting to believe the best, I gather/surmise the diggers realised the place was a badger sett but perhaps inactive. They were anxious to do things by the book so applied to NE for permission to monitor it, found no trace of use for 28 days and applied to NE for a licence to close it.

They deserve a lot of credit for going about this the right way when it is quite likely that others would  not have done, perhaps because they would not have known how.
It might be useful to others sometime if somebody could briefly outline the procedure.
So far as I can see there are many pages of information on line if you want a licence actually to remove badgers, but nothing of any use to cavers/diggers.

A licence was issued so I apologise to the diggers.
I have sent a cheque for £100 to gardouth, via ukCaving.
Title: Re: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: mch on February 04, 2017, 09:14:13 pm
There is online guidance regarding badgers and licences at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/badgers-protection-surveys-and-licences (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/badgers-protection-surveys-and-licences) . As Chocolate fireguard says, the diggers have gone about this the right way. However, I am still concerned that a licence could be granted simply because someone wanted to close a sett to enable a cave to be dug.
Title: Re: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: mikem on February 05, 2017, 05:37:01 pm
The most obvious option is the licence for archaeological digs:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/badgers-licence-to-interfere-with-setts-during-archaeological-digs (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/badgers-licence-to-interfere-with-setts-during-archaeological-digs)

Mike
Title: Re: Re: Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors
Post by: Graigwen on February 07, 2017, 09:30:01 am
How did you "prove" it had not returned for 28 days?

Flour?

Half a century ago I had some difficulty ascertaining if an extensive sett was occupied before a geophysical survey. Having seen the way worms wriggled out of the ground, zapping 15,000 volts into the earth a couple of feet above a sleeping badger seemed potentially cruel. I put small twigs across all the entrances the evening before, when they were all seen to be undisturbed next day the survey went ahead, no badgers appeared.

.
Title: Re: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: ianball11 on February 07, 2017, 01:24:03 pm
A licence was issued so I apologise to the diggers. I have sent a cheque for £100 to gardouth, via ukCaving.
  :thumbsup:  man of your word

Title: Re: Badger Licensing (Split from Manor Vale Cave, North York Moors)
Post by: GarDouth on February 07, 2017, 07:43:59 pm
I have indeed received my cheque from Mr C Fireguard and I must commend him on being a man of his word and I appreciate the apology.

I did not post our licence details partly because I have been very busy at work and also because I'm very happy with my own integrity and didn't feel I (we) had anything to prove. As a digging group we have always done things by the book within reason and have been rewarded by a great relationship with several local land owners. I believe that communication and compromise are the best way for cavers/diggers to get greater access and maintain good relations.

My original post perhaps made it sound like we were being a bit harsh to Mr Badger but it was simply written in a light-hearted spirit to make a more interesting report.