The nocturnal intruders in this case however aren’t of the human kind, as they have four legs, are distinctively black and white in appearance and prowl around at night.
Northern Gas Networks, who owns the gas pipeline system from the Borders to the Humber and across to Cumbria, recently discovered the presence of badgers at their Coldstream site prior to the erection of a new, high security fence.
A large badger sett spanned the proposed line of the new fencing, prompting the gas firm’s environmental officer, Phil Embleton to put plans in place to minimise any disruption to the protected mammals.
“As part of any new site work, I carry out a full health, safety and environmental survey of the area,” said Phil. “As the badgers are living on our land, we had to get special permissions and licenses needed from Natural England so that we could erect the fence. As an environmentally responsible company, we also enrolled the help of a conservation consultant who has advised us on all sorts of badger related matters such as where they feed, and the times when they are likely to be coming and going around the sett.”
Mervyn Anthony from conservation consultants, Mervyn D Anthony has spent time on site advising the gas team and fencing contractors, The Fencing Partnership Ltd on the best way to work around the badger’s habitat. In one section of the site, the active sett lay right on the line of the new fencing. Gas and fencing workers overcame this problem by constructing a special plastic tunnel which enables the creatures to reach their home without any hindrance from the fence.
Graham Green, director of The Fencing Partnership Ltd praised Northern Gas Networks and his team for the way the project was sensitively handled.
“This is a great example of organisations working together to protect our natural environment,” he said. “We and Northern Gas Networks have really gone that extra mile to make sure that these elusive creatures stay safe and secure without compromising the integrity and security of the gas installation.”
Photo shows L to R Phil Embleton Northern Gas Networks Graham Green The Fencing Partnership Ltd and Mervyn D Anthony at the badgers sett