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Protected species

Some plant and animal species are protected..


Badgers and their setts are legally protected under the Protection of Badgers Act of 1992.

Whilst the council is responsible for ensuring developers comply with this legislation in the course of considering planning applications, we are not responsible for providing general advice on badgers. If you are having problems with badgers – such as digging for food in your garden or they might have dug a sett on your property (which is very rare) – please contact the Avon Badger Group for advice (07776 090816).

For injured badgers please contact Secret World in Somerset (01278 783250).

If you are worried that badgers are being harmed or disturbed, please contact the local police (ask for the wildlife liaison officer) or the RSPCA. Please note that the council has no power to act in such cases.

If you have any questions about licences issued under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, please contact Natural England’s Wildlife Management and Licensing (0845 6014523).


All Bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  It is illegal to kill, capture or deliberately injure bats (whether in their roosts or not) or to destroy or disturb their roosts (whether there are bats in them or not).

Nesting birds

Wild birds are protected under the law. It is illegal to:

  • intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take any wild bird
  • take, damage or destroy its nest while it is being built or in use
  • take or destroy a wild bird egg

There are only a few exceptions to this law – the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act of 2000.

Sticking to the law

If you cut back or remove hedges, trees or other vegetation, you have to be careful not to disturb any nesting birds. They generally nest between March and August but milder winters and warmer autumns mean that the nesting season can begin earlier and last longer. Contractors and landowners who want to remove vegetation should have it surveyed first to check it is not being used by nesting birds.

Reporting offences

Please contact your local police station if you think somebody is disturbing nesting birds. Their wildlife liaison officer will discuss the matter with you. Please note the council does not have the power to take action in such cases.

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