Concern after badgers made homeless for Gosport bus route

FEARS have been raised after badgers in Gosport were forced from their homes to make way for the extended bus route.

Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 12:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 12:58 pm
Wire mesh and metal doors over the badger setts in Rowner Road, Gosport. Picture: Sharon Smith

Residents living in Bridgemary have spotted that a badger sett in Rowner Road has been taken over by staff working on the proposed new Eclipse bus route.

But while Hampshire County Council says everything being done is above board, concerns have been raised over the badgers' future.

Sharon Smith, 42 from Gosport, says that people need to be made aware of what is happening to the wildlife.

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Wire mesh and metal doors over the badger setts in Rowner Road, Gosport. Picture: Sharon Smith

She said: '˜I was walking along by the cycle path and was horrified to see what was going on.

'˜You can see wire mesh covering the ground with metal trap doors over the setts.

'˜I was told by someone down there that these were one-way doors '“ so badgers could get out but not get back in.

'˜It all looked incredibly frightening and if somebody walked past with a child, they might get a bit upset to see them being treated like that. It's inhumane to simply rob them of their home and if that is how we are approaching animals then I am just appalled.'

Currently, nobody knows where the badgers have gone '“ with Sharon fearing the worst for them.

She said: '˜Since they were displaced I haven't seen any of them wandering around, and we used to see them quite a bit.

'˜I do worry about what's happened to them and a few other people have told me they feel the same.

'˜All it would take is a bit of an explanation from the council as to what they're doing to the badgers and where they are going - but we are being left in the dark at the moment.'

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, says that the council has a licence to protect the badgers while the new busway is being built.

Cllr Humby said: '˜Our team carried out surveys prior to starting work on the second phase of the Eclipse busway and a badger sett was identified at Rowner Road.

'˜We therefore obtained a Badger Licence from Natural England to close the sett to ensure the badgers are protected during construction and all works are being carried out in strict accordance with the conditions of the Natural England licence.'

Chairman of Gosport Borough Council's community board, Cllr Graham Burgess, said: '˜I don't believe that any badgers have actually been moved.

'˜The badgers are protected and I don't think there's any major problems that have arisen from the environmental survey.'