NEIGHBOURS will have to pay thousands of pounds to end their badger nightmare.
Families living in Palmyra Road, Gosport, have been putting up with the animals for nearly two years but since Christmas their presence has caused big problems.
Caroline Hayward says she does not know where to turn as badgers are a protected species and cannot be removed unless an alternative sett is found for them.
The 52-year-old has applied for a licence from Natural England to remove the animals but has been told that even if an alternative home is found, she could have to pay between £3,000 and £5,000.
She said the problem got so bad, her next-door neighbour moved.
‘The mother badger has shifted two tonnes of earth from under my patio and shed into my neighbours garden,’ she said.
It is so upsetting and if I had known the badgers were going to be such a major problem, we might have reconsidered moving here.Becky Pascoe
‘She dug under the wall and has caused the patio to sink down and my shed to sink in the middle.
‘It is so dangerous and next door have a young family.
‘I have been to the council who put me in touch with a badger expert but they cannot be removed.’
Neighbour Becky Pascoe, who moved into the house in March, has concerns for the safety of her three young children.
She said they have been told they cannot touch the end of their garden which has a mound of earth, a deep hole and garage with half the roof fallen in.
Becky, 29, said: ‘When we first moved in, we cut down some trees and we had the RSPCA visit saying we could be fined if we touch the garden again.
‘We can’t even put a small fence around the hole by the wall.
‘It is so upsetting and if I had known the badgers were going to be such a major problem, we might have reconsidered moving here.
‘We just want a nice, pretty garden that the children can play in.’
Badger expert says removing animals is hard
A BADGER expert has said removing the animals from a sett is difficult to do even when a licence is given.
Brian Masterton, from Gosport, said rehoming badgers in an urban area is hard because a new sett has to be available.
‘If there is nowhere else for the animals to go, then they have to stay,’ he said.
‘Sometimes tolerance is the best way to deal with them but if they are causing a lot of damage and concern then I can understand why they become a nuisance.
‘In Gosport, if you move them from one garden, they could just rehome in another so you aren’t actually getting rid of the issue - you are moving it.’